Monthly Archives: December 2009

Decking the Tree

My hubby and I started a new tradition of our own – no physical gifts for Christmas. Not just for each other, but for both of our families. It all started because we didn’t go home for the holidays last year and we didn’t want to ship presents. So, what we did instead, was give the Gift of Life. We sponsored kitties at a local Los Angeles shelter – the Lange Foundation. With each donation, this no-kill shelter can go to a LA Shelter and save a kitty (or doggie) from death row and give them a second chance at a happy life. Who can argue with present?

www.langefoundation.com

This year, we’re going home, but we did the same thing and sponser kitties. Well, I have a tradition in my family where we open each other’s presents Christmas Eve and open Santa’s presents after comes on Christmas Day. So, some family members were slightly sad because we wouldn’t be opening presents from each other. So, I caved and said, “I’ll make you something!” That’s how the ornaments started…kinda at the same time as the coasters. I had so much fun because I was “all green” and used scraps to make them and I think they turned out really precious. 

Hopefully, my family will swoon over these like I did. If not, I just take them back and put them on my tree.   

 There are also squirrels (in honor of UP – SQUIRREL!), green cats and a doggie. Oh, and one cat toy stuffed with cat nip. I’ll post those pictures later. I have to hop a place to Louisiana in a few hours.

Happy Holidays, everyone! Now, go save a kitty’s or doggie’s life at www.langefoundaton.com .

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Baby Sitting

As I’ve said in past posts, I don’t have kids yet. So, I fully understand that I don’t ‘get’ it when people say,” I didn’t know how much I could love until I had children.” Well, I’m here to say that a best friend’s child must come in at a close second, because I am head over heels in love with little Sophia.

A few days ago a was lucky to baby sit my friend’s 3 month old daughter, Sophia. Nicole needed some time to herself to get her hair cut and styled for an industry party she had that night. So, I was in charge of feeding, burping, changing, playing with and putting Sophia to sleep. Now, I know that the infant stage is a little rough and I’ve been there when Sophia has completely lost it, turning beat red crying. But this day I was lucky to have “angel Sophia.” She cried a tiny bit when I burped her during feeding, but only because she is a little piggy and wants to continue eating through her whole bottle (Sophia has to be burped after each 1 oz amount, or she’ll barf it up right after).

After the feeding and burping, we played a little and then she feel asleep in my arms as I was reading Natural Solutions Magazine to her (hey, last time it was Redbook). I can’t tell you the warmth and love I felt as I sat there staring at her precious hands and fingers and watched her smile in her sleep. Oh and when she nuzzled her little face into my arm, I almost lost it.

So, moms, I may not have my own kids, but I kinda ‘get’ it now. So, feel free to let me into your ‘mommy zone’ and chat me up on your kids. Just try to keep the nightmare bratty moments to a minimum. I do want to have my own kids someday, so let’s just keep me in the dark on that part of it for as loooong as possible. Thanks.

Look, I'm a pro already. (Notice the quilt in the back. Nice, huh?)

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Taking a Break

Sooo, I’ve been doing a ton of sewing this past week prepping for the holidays and I’m starting to go crosseyed. I decided that it’s time to take a break and create in a different part of my life. So, naturally, I chose food. Yum.

When I married Mr. David Walsh almost 7 years ago, I was introduced to many “Walsh Traditions.” Two of the main food traditions are 1. Cheese Waffers and 2. Saltine Crackers with Velveeta Cheese with Toasted Mini Marshmellows on top. I thought I would start with the Cheese Waffers first.

Goodness from God

To make your holidays happier – make ’em and eat ’em all.

1 cup butter (melted) , 2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese, 1/4 t. cyanne pepper, 1/2 t. dry mustard, 1 c flour, 1 cup self-rising flour, 2 cups Rise Krispies

mix all together. fold rice krispies in. create small balls (about 1 inch balls) and place on ungreased cookie sheet. press down with fork (dip fork in cold water to prevent sticking).

Bake @ 350 – 375 for 12-15 minutes or until slight browned around the edges. EAT!

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Scraps Become Treasure

It all started because David and I spent Thanksgiving with our fellow Southern transplant friends, Nathan and Beth. But first, a little back history…

Beth and I met through a mutual friend, Dallas. Beth is Dallas’s hair stylist, and now, of course, is mine! She’s the bestest (yes, that’s a word, I just made it up, thanks.) hair stylist ever. Nathan and Beth are both from Aiken, SC – just a couple spits down the road (aka, 2 hours) from Pickens, which is where my hubby is from (that’s David, in case you weren’t making the connection). So, as you can imagine, we bonded immediately. 

So, it was a Southern Turkey Day and I wanted to show our appreciation to Nathan and Beth for taking in we orphans for Gobble Time by giving them a hostest gift (’cause that’s what you do in the South). Being a fellow Southern Belle, I knew Beth would totally appreciate anything I made her. And seeing that they don’t have kids yet, I thought a quilt would be a little premature…and large. So, I started thinking, “Huh, what can I make that would be small and cute, but completely functional?” And coasters popped into my brain. 

For those of you who know me, you can appreciate this idea because you know how much I’m obsessed with coasters. I love them. I have 5 set s in my 1 bedroom apartment (I know.). I love giving them as gifts because God forbid anyone have to deal with the heartache of discovering a deep water ring stain on Grandma’s heirloom side table after a party. It hurts. 

So, I broke out all the scraps from my past and in-the-making quilts. One problem I hit – none of the scraps were big enough to fit a glass. So, I got a little crazy (watch out!) and combined 2 different fabrics – contrasting patterns, yet complementary color – and then got extra cutsie and made them in my rag quilt style. They were so adorable, I was in love, to say the lease, to the point I almost didn’t give them to Beth (again, I know). But David wisely made me give them to Beth and they were a MAJOR HIT! Beth squealed with delight and Nathan couldn’t stop from screaming and jumping with excitement (Ok, that’s so not true, he was all “aww, cool, thanks” and continued to cook the most awesome brussel sprouts like a champ).   

Coasters all Stacked Up

Coasters in Action

But the extra excitng new is, Beth has reported back that one of her friends saw the coasters and loved them so much she has demanded a set of her own! Who knew a few little scraps would turn into the next great product of Li’l Bumpkin. I just love happy accidents, don’t you?

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Resuse is the Best Recycling

Here at Li’l Bumpkin I try to stay as “Green” as possible. I use all cotton or bamboo fabrics/batting and buy in bulk as much as possible to save on shipping and travel carbon emissions. I am also striving to gather real vintage fabrics to incorporate into the quilts and accessories. While searching for quilt fabrics, I stumbled upon a skirt at a thrift store for $1.

Me in the skirt

I decided why not? A little ripping and mending and now it has a new life and we have a “new”…

"New" Christmas Tree Skirt

Christmas Tree Skirt! It’s so homey. Yum.

I bet it’s even cuter when lies flat because your tree is flat on the ground since you have storage to put away all your holiday Rubbermaid decoration containers in a closet or garage somewhere. Yeah, that will happen when we can finally buy a house…someday…any day…I’m open to ideas, Santa.

So, there you have it. Li’l Bumpkin Reusing where I can. Yup, I just saved the world a little bit. Awesome.

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The Next Generation

I have 3 girl friends from high school, Katie, Sheree and Kristin, who I’ve spent many, many hours with dreaming and planning our futures.  We always talked about how we wanted our families to be close, live down the street from one another, buy a beach house  for family vacations and raise all of our children together. Not once did we think that some of us would get married years before the others and some would have kids way ahead of the rest of us. Nor did we think of the fact that I would end up living across the country in Los Angeles and Katie would be in Colorado. Opps. We did well in the dreaming department, not so great in the time or geography management. Though I’ve been married longer than some of them, they had kids before me, so I live vicariously through them for now. And by living vicariously through them, I mean I spoil their children rotten and then hand them back for them to deal with the consequences…just like a good auntie should, thank you. 

So, Katie was first to venture into motherhood. She pulled the whole “oh, we’re thinking of starting to try in a year or so” and then calls us 2 months later and tells us she’s preggers. Sneaky little fox.  She had precious, darlin’ Pierce 2 years ago on June 9th. This was before my quilt days, so she got a blanket. Since I was in Los Angeles, I couldn’t get back to her shower. BUT, I was able to get fabric while in Hawaii for her blanket. (know that sounds odd, but Hawaii is closer and cheaper to fly to than Pensacola and the trip was planned and booked before I knew she was preggers. So, there.) Hawaii fabric is special because Katie and her hubby went to Kaui for their honeymoon. AND the fabric had blue gators on it…Katie and her hubby both went to University of Florida (which I still have a major problem with as a hardcore LSU fan, but we try to keep our friendship our top priority. Geaux Tigers.), so that was a nice touch. I admit, it’s totally cheesy fabric and not a bit classy…but she did have a boy and like he’s ever going to care. Right? 

Pierce's Blanket

 

Nevertheless, I think it turned out rather adorable, don’t you? Too bad the background wasn’t orange – would’ve been extra UF Gator nauseating. Alas. 

Fast forward a couple of years to 2009 – August 8th to be exact. It was Sheree’s turn to play Mommy. She had gorgeous little Rylee. Sheree was a lucky gal – all of us girls threw her a shower in June. 

Shirley (my mom), Tiffany, Sheree, Katie, & Kristin

 

Since she waited until my skills progressed, she got one of my glorious quilts, of course. I did my best to coordinate the colors with her nursery theme – brown, pink and green dots an circles. (Again, I need to start designing my own fabric line, because it was mission from God to find anything close to that combination of colors that didn’t have ponies prancing and spelling out “BABY” with cubes. Honestly.) Rylee didn’t get the exact color scheme, but she got pink & brown, ADORABLE classy butterflies and an AWESOME aqua honeycomb pattern. What more can a gal ask for? 

Rylee Reese on her quilt!

 

Who's a little model showing off her quilt?

 

These pictures are from a few months ago. Sheree assures me that she is going to take updated pictures with Rylee playing on the quilt. I’ll get some of the quilt in action when I meet Rylee for the first time over the Christmas holiday. I know, the anticipation! 

Kristin and I have yet to have kids (Gasp!), much to our parent’s dismay, I’m sure. Calm down people! I assure you, they will come eventually, but it’s as they say – It’s ALL in the timing and the timing just ain’t yet right. Until then, praise be to God in the highest that we have Pierce and Rylee to rent out. Maybe Katie and Sheree will have their 2nd and 3rd kids while Kristin and I have our first. That way we would still be raising our kids together – ish.

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I Love Copy Cats

Remember when you were little how kids would get angry when another kid copied them by doing the same thing or getting the same cool shirt or having the same type of birthday party? If ONLY they could understand that mimicry or copying is one of the biggest forms of flattery. The other kids wouldn’t bother in doing the same thing if they didn’t LIKE it!  So, when my awesome fellow “Martha” friend,Amber, said she “copied” me and made a quilt like I made her son Eli, I was more than flattered! Amber is one of the most talented of seamstresses I know, so for her to “copy” my idea because she and Eli loved it so much is like getting an Oscar…and when I get an actual Oscar, I’ll let you know if that comparison is completely accurate.  I love that the idea of classy baby items is spreading! Now, all I want to know is, how did Amber have the time to make the quilt while taking care of a newborn?

Eli on the quilt I made him

 

The day I gave Eli his quilt - Thanksgiving 2008

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