Tuesday, April 30, 2013

cruising the caribbean...

We just got back from an amazing, exhausting and sun-filled cruise of the Caribbean. It was a 7-day cruise with stops in Jamaica, Cayman Islands, and finally Cozumel. We got to see a hunted plantation, swim with turtles and dolphins and do some shopping.

We were on the Carnival Magic and I have to say, this ship was beautiful! It's only a few years old and one of the giants. We took both the girls and also my mom and aunt. We had adjoining rooms which was a lifesaver when the girls Annabelle was napping. Baby relish decided sleep was for the birds and she wanted to party. She had quite the fan club and wanted to get out to greet all her fans at 5 am every morning. Thankfully my mom was willing to take her to see her peeps. She would actually get annoyed if someone didn't give her googly eyes...rotten! I would even go to the bathroom alone and someone would know baby relish and ask me where she was....seriously! She has since let the air out of her big cute head and has realized napping and sleeping is a good idea. In fact, she slept the entire car ride home from Galveston to Dallas (5 hours).

Here are some of the pictures I captured during our adventure....


The girls on deck voyage day!


Annabelle and Sherry which she like to pronounce it more like "Cherry"...lol. Big thanks to my aunt for putting up with my crazy kids!


Sister!


Annabelle is quite the slide enthusiast...she will try any and all slides no matter the size. I think she went down this one at least 50 times and that was just the first day.


Here if a view of the Lido deck. For all those unfamiliar with crusing terms, the lido deck is usually where the pools and buffet areas are. We spent a lot of time here.


Everyday, they have a "drink-of-the-day" on the ship and one of the days it was a drink in a coconut monkey head...so we got one for Annabelle with a virgin pina colada. Her expressions are priceless sometimes.


Getting of the boat in Montego Bay, Jamaica. We then hopped on a bus to head over the the Rose Hill Plantation.


Rose Hill Plantation - you can read about it more here. This was a beautiful place even though it's said to be haunted. I wish we could have spent more time here, but the girls were not enjoying the heat so well.


Annabelle watching the carver put her name on the back of her turtle.


Saying goodbye to Jamaica.


On the ferry boat to get to shore looking back at the ship. We are now in the Cayman Islands.


Feeding the turtles at the Cayman Turtle Farm. This place was very cool. I loved seeing all the turtles and even holding the baby ones (see below).






Annabelle getting her hair braids. We should have done these in Jamaica or Cayman, but there was never a chance. We finally got them in Cozumel. She has never sat that still getting her hair done in her life. She is still strutting her stuff in these braids.


Getting her picture taken with an Aztec Indian...she's not sure what she thinks of this.

We ate lunch at Three Amigos and they had this giant chair for photo ops. I decided we needed to get some fun pictures of Harper since she was usually sleeping in her stroller for the fun parts of the trip. She liked to save her energy for her fan club on the boat...figures!





Annabelle showing me her braids.



We could not get her of this dang Zonky (donkey x zebra). Not sure if that is a real animal, but Annabelle was thrilled to be on it.


Seriously, we had to drag her off this thing.




Oh, yeah....Mr. Relish was there too. LOL



Favorite Moments:
1. Annabelle watching the glamorous shows at night. She had to take a nap in order to go to the show. She was absolutely mesmerized by the dancing, lights and singing. So was I.
2. Swimming with the dolphins. We weren't able to take pictures since we were all in the water and they wanted you to buy the pictures they took. That part was a bit annoying.
3. My mom not able to find me on the boat (I was on a deck in the shade with a sleeping Harper (finally) in her stroller while reading a book) and she went to the front desk to have me paged. Not only did they page me, they sent all security on an official man-hunt to find me. I had to write a statement that I was okay. This became the butt of many jokes the rest of the trip.
4. My mom winning over $2,000 in the casino and treating us to a game of bingo. Guess who won $120? She did!
5. Annabelle singing Tomorrow from Annie during our Muster roll call. We were required to meet at a designated muster location the first day on the boat. Our location was in a conference room that had a small stage. Annabelle took the pre-assembled audience of 100 people as an opportunity to practice her dramatic arts skills. I didn't get any pictures or video, but I will remember that moment forever!
5. Annabelle getting to sing karaoke this time to Tomorrow. There were strangers even recording her. We DID get some video of this! I love that she is so fearless!
6. Shopping and haggling with vendors in Cozumel. I'm ruthless! I got some beautiful dresses for the girls and jewelry for me.

Now it's time to get back to sewing, crafting and quilting! Next week is teacher appreciation week and I need to get started! If you are not family, and therefore, not obligated to read this blog post, I would love to say thank you for getting this far!

Melissa










Thursday, April 11, 2013

quilted e-reader - 2nd edition

A couple months ago I posted about my quilted e-reader cover and wanted to share my newest one. I wore the other one out and was also ready for a new look. Instead of cotton interfacing this time, I used pellon 71 (stiff fusible interfacing). I quilted the top just as if it was cotton batting. I really had no issues with tension or anything...so yay! I also added a phone pocket inside because I realized I not only carry my e-reader everywhere, I carry my phone. So now it has a safe little home when needed. Fabrics are scraps (or "uh-ohs") from my Virtual Quilting Bee, Gypsy Girl.



Melissa

Monday, April 8, 2013

quilted craft apron

A few weeks ago, little relish's preschool teacher lost her phone during a busy day at school. Luckily she found it, but we began discussing how she needed a little apron to wear to keep track of her phone and other little things two year olds need (I'm sure that list can be quite extensive...lol). I told her I was on it!

After searching the internet, craft books and blogworld, I never quite found the perfect one. This is a total modpodge of all the ones I found. Since I wanted it quilted, naturally, I really just needed to get the dimensions right. I cross-referenced all the examples I found and then measured my lap and finally decided on this...

Back: 11x19 inches
Pocket: 7x19 inches
Waist bias tape: 4x88 inches (two 44 inch strips)

I made the back piece first with two pieces of the same size fabric (green back and pink poka-dot front) with cotton batting in the middle and quilted lines up and down (just like you would make a quilt sandwich). The pocket piece was made the same way instead the front I used 10-5x5 charms from Oink-a-doodle and the back was just a fun busy print. I just quilted frames around the squares. I added binding (the teal and grey binding were leftover from quilts) to the top of the pocket then attached the pocket by making the actual pockets (be sure to secure the stitch at the top by back stitching or a pocket stitch). I did two lines which made three equal size pockets. I then attached the rest of the binding (grey) and lastly made the waist band binding (2-4x44 inch pieces made into 1 inch bias tape) and then attached. You can adjust this to size if needed but this was plenty and I am NOT skinny...lol.

Please let me know if anything needs clarification! I didn't make a tutorial because I figured it had been done enough, but wanted to give basic instructions in case anyone wanted to make one. Let me know if you do...that would totally rock!

Melissa

Friday, April 5, 2013

glamping pillow

I have my Glamping quilt top completed...yay! I can't wait until it's finished so I can share. Here is a sneak peek....


I do have a finish today to share...my shabby glamping pillow!



I would also like to introduce you to Dolly Relish...she is our 5 year old cocker/basset mix and she is a the softest and sweetest dog and loves her little relishes. Isn't she just adorable!!! She stole my spot while I was getting the pillow to take a picture...she has a thing for couches and pillows.

Ok, back to the pillow....I was able to get cut a 2.5x2.5 square from each of the layer cake scraps to make this fun Glamping pillow. I shared my first real embroidery attempt with y'all last week here and now here it is in a very shabby pillow. I wasn't in the mood to do math (used all my math mojo while making the quilt top) when I started this pillow and was short 1 square (can you spot the square that doesn't belong?) so I just went with it and pieced them in one long row of squares till I was out of squares. I then just added them as boarders. I quilted it with a square around a square and the back has an envelope insert slot. I added a button closure on the back but forgot to take a picture of it before I left it in little relish's room before nap. She insisted on sleeping with it because it was "bootifull," as she said. She also told me "goo job" and then claimed it as her new pillow (we will see).

Speaking of little relish, I love her excitement over my completed projects and she loves to check in with me while I sew. She even gets out her cheap plastic toy sewing machine ($7) I got for her last year and pretends with her fabric scraps, but it recently broke :( It was an actual working machine, (not that it worked worth crap and plays a horrible and loud version of twinkle twinkle little star AND was as loud as my serger) but I took out the bobbin (choke hazard) and the needle (duh) before I gave it to her. I've seen some on Amazon but it's too much $ given that I render it useless anyway. Oh well, we will see. :)

I also brought home this 90" roll of Warm&White that was on sale...I decided it was way better to keep it on the roll so I just bought it all....ha!.


Have a great weekend!!

Melissa
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