Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Witchcraft-ing :) Did you see what I did there?

Last year I had the girls design their own Halloween costumes and we ended up with the cutest Princess Leia and Ariel, two princesses with VERY different aesthetics.  Luckily, My Baby let me get her a princess nightgown and call it a costume, and My Oldest was cool getting creative with an outfit that Leia could possibly wear, even though she doesn't in any of the shows.

princess leia costume
And then I got busy with my bad self and gave them some wicked awesome face painting.

This year I'm going to have a couple witches on my hands and I had them design their own hats and let them pick out some tulle for witchy skirts.

homemade witch hat

My Baby wanted to go with a, mainly skull and spider theme with a few gorgeous gems thrown in and a purple, sparkly veil with one big flower in front.  I wielded the hot glue gun with authority and she pointed and directed.  She was very excited to place one of the tiny skulls in the flower.

crafty witch hat

My Oldest decided on a few additional spooky touches, bats, skulls, rats as well as gorgeous flowers and a turquoise, spotty veil.  She was particularly happy with the rats climbing over the skull and having placed some of her bats upside down, they are resting.

This was a fun project because it allowed them to pick a few crafty embellishments and get creative.

apron tie tulle skirt
Their puffy witches skirts.  I let them each pick 3 colors of tulle and some satin blanket binding and got these skirts made up in a couple of hours.  So, if you need a quick tulle skirt idea, this is it.  It's so simple because it ties in the back like an apron!!  I tried to figure out where this genius idea originated, but no idea.  If it's yours, I love it.

Here's a super basic, picture tutorial on how I made them..

tulle witch skirt

I had nine yards of tulle per skirt and that was too much. I cut the tulle into 6 inch strips and layered, oh, about 4 pieces of doubled up tulle together and then just alternated the colors.

Happy Halloween!

Thanks for reading.


Monday, October 27, 2014

A deer gift

The Mister recently went on a business trip to Tennessee, where he didn't even TRY some Nashville Hot Chicken.  I mean, come on!  If you're somewhere new and fancy (not sure Tennessee counts as fancy), then you try the local cuisine.  One of his lovely co-workers, out of the goodness of her heart crocheted me this gorgeous cashmere, cowl-neck scarf.  LOVE IT.  I feel so Claire from Outlander when I wear it.

outlander cowl scarf
So, I want to send her a gift, one crafty lady to another; and The Mister, who is a hater, says she will not know what to do with it.  I say pshhbbttt.  So my question is this: is it wrong to send somebody a crafty, hand-made gift if you're not sure it'll go with their personal style.  Because, I guess quilted deer heads might not be for everybody. le sigh

deer head wallhanging
Naw!  I really do feel that a quilted, miniature wall-hanging of a deer head can go anywhere.  Even if it's just in somebody's closet.  Or, if she really feels it'll clash, she could re-gift it....or, let's be honest, trash it because I doubt I will ever find out.  And if I ever do make it to her house and start wandering around searching for it, she can just tell me she lost it in a house fire.  Who am I to know differently.

deer head quilt
Tell me true, friends, should I send this to her, assuming as I do, that she'll at least think it's fun to get something in the mail and find it interesting at the very least, or should I listen to The Mister and make her something else?

It even has a little bit of French on one of the fabrics because she's originally from Quebec.  Come on!  I think it's a good gift.  She likes that my kids are learning French.  That reminds me, must have kids write her a thank you card on my behalf en Francais.

Let me hear it.  What's your opinion on this dilemma.

Thanks for reading!


Thursday, October 16, 2014

Another one bites the dust...

Au revoir mon portable.  That's French for, see ya laptop. At least that's what Google Translate tells me.  I could probably ask my kids...

What I'm really trying to say is this: My laptop bit the dust.  Hard.

Mad Baby
Kid, I feel your pain.  So that means I'm using The Mister's POS computer that he bought simply to experiment on.  See, he's in school for computer-y stuff and needed something we wouldn't feel bad about if it started emitting sparks and smoke.

I thought I'd give you a quick peek into what I've been up to even though it pains me to use this computer any more than necessary...

If you've ever wanted to see what happens when a chicken molts.  Yeah, not a pretty sight.  I had no idea how many feathers these girls actually  have.  They are absolutely everywhere!

It's alright, Dolly, all the ladies will have to go through the change sooner or later.  You're just an early bloomer and all the other girls will be jealous of the cool, heroin-chic look that you're bringing back,  The 90's are so in right now.

It's only going to get worse from here.  She's looking pretty good, still.  I'll keep you updated on the molt situation.

 Thanks to my ladies, I've had a surplus of eggs.  That means frozen quiches.  Yum!

nine patch in nine patch
 Oh, and this, my worst quilt idea ever resurrected into something I sorta, kinda love.  Resurrection...quilt style.

My Oldest in her first ever swim team competition.  She's at the far side of the pool.  So much fun to watch.

What My Youngest wants.  I love seeing her figuring out how to spell.  Do you notice she wants a unicorn...right, I'll get right on that..  A cat, The Mister has something to say about this: No.  An earring.  Just one? I wonder if she's turning pirate on me.  A hors, see unicorn because it's just as likely she'll get this as that.  And a tevey.  We have two teveys in this house.  One that has actual TV, and one that's just hooked up to a DVD player in the basement where I send the girls to watch Monster High for the 800th time, and we are capped out on numbers of teveys allowed in this house.

I think the only one she's got any chance at, is the singular earring.

 I'm adding pockets to things for very important reasons.

 I made this and maybe had my praises sung from the rooftops.

bread salad
 I made this and sung my own praises. Bread Salad.

Persian-style Quilt
And I made this.  Which I LOVE LOVE LOVE!  And The Mister hates.  I think it's a sign that he doesn't really love me.

I am probably going to be stuck with this computer as I made the choice to not get a decent one....yet. I'll try and resolve myself to just get over my hatred of it, pull up my big girl panties and just use the dang thing.  We'll see.

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

50 questions. All you ever wanted to know about me....and more.

I mean, couldn't we have capped this at like, ten questions?  Do you really need to know 50 things about me?

Thanks for the nom there Andi at Delusions of Ingenuity, I am so going to exact revenge upon you for this one.  But, good girl I am, I cannot say no to my blogging b.f.f.  I mean, I can say no to my brother-in-law asking me to help him freaking move...hire movers like grown-ups do.  I can say no to that third slice of pie...the second helping was enough for me, thanks.   I can even say no to the door to door salesman asking if he can use my bathroom.  Uhhhh...hell no.  But I can't say no to Andi.  I mean, have you ever seen her dog, Eddie?  He's freaking adorable and my dogs boyfriend, to boot.  So let's have at it...all 50 of these questions.  Right....50.  Whooo....I hope I have the right answers, do you think C will work for all of them?

1. What are you wearing?

What is this, some kind of online dating questionnaire?  Isn't the reason I'm married so that I never have to fill one of these out?  I will say that I am wearing several threads from my latest sewing adventure.  Does that make you horny?

2. Ever been in love?

Oh yeah, Mr. Darcy and I are having a torrid love affair.  Don't talk to my sister.  Mr. Darcy loves me and only me.

3. Ever have a terrible break-up?

Yeah....we had just gotten back from spending the 4th of July at the lake with my entire family and I had an epiphany....WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING WITH THIS IDIOT?  We were capping off the festivities at a concert and fireworks show that my parents paid for, when he said something about how much he loved me, blah blah blah, and I just couldn't fake love anymore.  Not even to watch Alabama, Donny Osmond and some really sweet fireworks. 

4. How tall are you?

***text message to husband*** are you okay with me filling out an online dating survey about what level of gorgeousness I am?  This must be a really good dating site, 50 dimension of compatibility!  Take that, E-Harmony, 27...weak!

5. How much do you weigh?

Does anybody tell the truth on these things?  Maybe I should refer to my driver's license to answer this...nope, that's not accurate.

6. Any tattoos?

Oh yeah, I totally have tats.  My best friend accidentally stabbed me with a pencil when we were about 12, I still have the pencil mark in my leg.   It counts.

7. Any piercings?

Ears, times two.  But I haven't worn actual earrings for a long time.  My ears are very sensitive and you do NOT want to see or smell what happens when I take the earrings out after a few weeks.  Blech.  Let's just say my body is rejecting them by all means possible.

8. OTP (One true pair, favorite fictional couple?)

That would be Elizabeth Me and Mr. Darcy.  Danny and Sandy?  Mr. Rochester and Jane Eyre.  Claire Me and Jamie. 

9. Favorite Show?

You might make fun of me, but chances are if you turn my TV on at any random time, it's probably on PBS.  All my favorites are on there.  Nature shows, Downton, Sherlock, The Story of Lewis and Clark, Anne of Green Gables...

10. Favorite Bands?

Does talk radio count?  No, well then, Neil Diamond is my most favorite...and the soundtrack to Grease 2.
11. Something you miss?

Staying up until 4 AM reading a really great book because I don't have a family to take care of.

12. Favorite Song?

Total Eclipse of the Heart, as sung by my sister and myself.  She's the girl and I am the boy and the back-up singers.

13. How old are you?

Old enough to know better than to do one of these questionnaires.

14. Zodiac sign?

Virgo, but I'm not very happy about it.  I mean, who wants to be the uptight, demanding bee-atch of the zodiac?

Is it an accurate portrayal of my personality?  Who asked you, now go re-load the dishwasher the way I taught you.

15. Quality to look for in a partner.

I tell my girls when they look for a boyfriend to choose a man who's their friend, who they enjoy spending time with and who treats them like they're the best thing that ever happened to him.  Just like their Daddy treats me.   Awwwww.  sniff sniff.  I done picked good. 

16. Favorite Quote? 

"The maddest of all, to see life as it is and not as it should be."

-Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote

I have no idea if I cited that correctly.  Damn bibliographies. Good thing Andi's a grammar fiend, she'll let me know.

17. Favorite Actor?

I really like Howard Keel from 7 Brides for 7 Brothers and Calamity Jane.  In fact, I let The Mister know there are two reasons I married him 1-Howard Keel 2-Jamie Fraser...they're both redheads in case you didn't know.

18. Favorite Color?

I love them all!  Except maroon...and mauve...and that really ugly shade of orange...and forest green...and peach...and...

19. Loud music or soft?


Soft.  I don't even like concerts (unless they're Neil Diamond), I'm a major dud.

 20. Where do you go when you are sad? 

My bathtub with a good book.

21.  How long does it take you to shower?

Looooong time.  I love to use all the hot water in the house.

22.  How long does it take you to get ready in the morning?

Five minutes, tops.  Just long enough to throw on a bra and maybe yank a brush through my hair.

23. Ever been in a physical fight?

Yes.  I was ten, she was eight, on the sidewalk in front of my house. Can't remember all the particulars, just that we were both digging each other with our fingernails as hard as we could.  I am pretty sure I won.

24. Turn on?

Outlander, episode 7, The Wedding.  Phew, is it hot in here?

25. Turn-off?


Bad breath.

26. The reason I started blogging?

To become a hundred-aire the easy way.

27. Fears?
Myself or a member of my family losing our health

28. Last thing that made you cry?

The giant pile of onions I chopped

29. Last time you said you loved someone?

Tonight as I kissed both my girls goodnight.  
"Goodnight, I love you."  
"Goodnight Mommy, ummmm...Mommy, my finger hurts." 
"Your finger wasn't hurting 5 minutes ago when you were playing, it'll feel better in the morning, now go to sleep.  I love you."  
"Ummm, Mommy....tomorrow can I wear a skirt instead of pants?"  
"Yes, we'll talk about it in the morning.  Love you."  
"Uggggh, child, time to sleep.  Goodnight.  I love you."  
"Love you, Mama."

30. Meaning behind the name of your blog (The Beating Hearth)?

You know how the hearth is the historical center of the home and my blog is all about what goes on in my home, and a play on words....beating heart...beating hearth...see, clever, right? 

31. Last book you read?

The Thinking Woman's Guide to Real Magic by Emily Croy Barker

32. Book you are currently reading?

A Room With a View by E.M. Forster

33. Last show you watched?

The Human Planet, Grasslands episode, with my girls tonight, before bed.  Just what you want your little girls to see right before dream-time, a lion taking down a wildebeest and getting down to bloody business. 

34. Last person you talked to?

The Mister, he just came home from work and school.

35. The relationship between you and the person you just texted?

Have to check who I last texted...Oh, it was actually the library telling me Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is past due.  Gosh darnit!  It's really hard to make it through a book on CD in the allotted time-frame when you only listen to it going to school in the mornings.  sigh.  Before that it was my cute husband.

36. Favorite food?

I love a little surf and turf.
37. Place you want to visit?

 Europe.  Period.  Luckily my kids are going to French school and so I've informed the husband we will be going to France for my 40th birthday, we'll take the girls and they can speak for us the entire time.  It'll be completely awesome.

 38. Last place you were?

Tucking my girls into bed?  That seems like a really boring answer.  I did go to the library today, to return Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and get this...I left one of the CDs in my car and came home with it.  Forehead smack.  Going back to the library tomorrow to return it.
39.  Do you have a crush?

Many.  All my fictional boyfriends....see question #8

40. Last time you kissed someone?


My Oldest.  She just had another sleep-walking episode.  I helped her not think the kitchen is the bathroom, tucked her back into bed and gave her one last smooch goodnight.

I can't believe my daughter inherited my very worst trait, sleep walking.  Shudder. 

41. Last time you were insulted?

When my kids told me how awful and gross my French Dip Sandwiches were
Or maybe when I was told how terrible my French accent is by my six year old.  Well excu-use moi.

42. Favorite flavor of sweet?

I really want to make shortbread with salted caramel on top, drizzled with chocolate.  Yup, that's my favorite flavor of sweet.

43. What instruments do you play?

Piano, badly.  Clarinet, really badly.  Banjo (seriously), a little better than I play clarinet, but still badly.

44. Favorite piece of jewelry?

Well, it's a length of yarn with a heart bead on it, made by my baby. Every time I take it off, it breaks her heart.  So I wear it, always.

45. Last sport you played?


46. Last song you sang?

Dirty Deeds Dunderchee by AC/DC  Look, if you didn't grow up as an 80's, mullet-wearing, rocker/chess nerd/football player (the husband has layers, doesn't he?) then you might not understand exactly what the band is saying when they sing this song.  You might think dunderchee is Aussie slang for doing something really cruel and bloody-like. The Aussies are all about talking strange, just look at my friend Mel.  Her cute baby was asking for bickies one time.  What the hizzle is a bicky?  It's a biscuit which means cookie in Australia. I had to ask the husband, what in the heck does dunderchee mean?  He looked at me with sadness in his eyes.  "Do you mean, done dirt cheap?"  Yup.  That's what I meant. 

47. Favorite chat up line?

??? Hello. ???

48. Have you ever used it?


Every time I answer the phone.

49.  Last time you hung out with anyone?


With people other than my kids and husband?  I have a pretty great group of friends and we get together pretty often.  My brother just moved in with me after graduating from UCLA and realizing finding a decent job in Utah is much easier than in LA, and I am sure he thinks I live the most boring life, ever!  HA!  Wait til you have kids, brother.  Wait til you have kids.

50. Who should answer these questions next?

 Karen from the Feral Turtle...because I am going to move into a commune with her someday

 Can I renominate Andi from Delusions of Ingenuity?

Mel from Mellywood's Mansion. She just did something like this not too long ago, but why the hell not? 

And finally, Amy from While Wearing Heals, because I love her guts 

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Resurrection...Quilt Style

Sometimes you choose the wrong fabric. You buy it because it inspires you.  You begin to dream up what you're going to make with it, maybe even draft a pattern. You're excited, you have grand ideas...and then it all falls apart. You start working on your quilt and it's just...meh.  Then you get angry, toss it all in a drawer and proceed to not think about it for at least...six years, give or take.

A few weeks ago I decided I needed a new project (not really as I've got several to work on) but wanted something new, so dragged this disaster out of the drawer and proceeded with the mental anguish.

Shudder.  Well, they're not all touch downs (gotta put a football reference in here for The Mister as it's his favorite time of year).  The fabric I was so excited about was the gooseberries.  I have a history with gooseberries, you can't blame me for buying it. The really tricky party about this gooseberry fabric, what other fabrics to coordinate with it?  So, I went with dull green and pasty yellow.  Bad choices.  Not inspired.

I mean, I don't think I could have chosen a more dull color pallet if I had tried.

Well the good thing, if you can call it that, is that I only had enough of the pasty yellow to make two blocks out of it (it's amazing how much fabric it takes to make a quilt).  Because I didn't have enough original fabric (thankfully), I introduced new and exciting fabrics from my stash into the mix and I have something now that I might actually like.  I still might have about ten yards of the gooseberry. Can you say back of the quilt?

Better gooseberry.

Slightly more exciting pasty yellow.

I cringe at my previous choices, they just look sad next to the more vibrant blocks

I also realized that I really like the square in a square look, and so introduced a mini square to the party.  Adds more visual interest.

My original gooseberry and pasty yellow.  I am much happier now.  If you look closely, the blocks on the right have more of my original fabrics in them, the two on the left have the new additions.

Which ones do you like better?

And, wait for it....wait for it...the best is yet to be revealed.

Thanks for reading!

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