My Love Hate Relationship with Blogging and What I’m Going to Do About It.

Obviously, based on my last few posts of 2014 here, here and here, I’ve been thinking about last year. I’ve been thinking about my blog….

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Here’s the Hate Part: Comparing…. Numbers….

Last year, I started off strong. But I got caught up in the numbers game of this blog. My daily numbers of views started to drop in 2013 when I went on vacation and they didn’t pick back up. The numbers started to get to me. And I think, I mean, I know it affected the time I put into showing you what I made. BUT… At the same time, almost every day I was getting notifications, ‘So and So is now following your blog through WordPress’ or through bloglovin’. And even more email followers! Which is great! It’s so exciting to get those emails. But confusing at the same time….. Lower views, higher subscribers, huh?

It means you’re not coming over to actually hang out with me. If I didn’t want to hang out with you, I wouldn’t be blogging! I love comments! I love getting to know the people reading my blog!

And you know what? In all this thinkin’, I realized I do it too! I read all the blogs I follow via email. So I get a TON of emails. And I read their awesome posts from the privacy of my email. I don’t go join them in their space of the blogosphere. Sometimes I’ll click over to pin something every now and then. But do I leave a comment? Um, not often.

But then I do that and I sit here and wonder why people don’t comment on my blog? Hello! Because we’re doing the same thing!  I’m hoping you really do enjoy what I do and enjoy reading about it. I enjoy it and that’s why I’m doing it of course. But I do hope you do too!

And then I compare…. I know you aren’t suppose to. But I do it. I’m human. I wonder why other people have more comments. More Instagram followers. More FB fans. And for that I don’t have an answer….

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Can I get your help?

Can you tell me what you like and don’t like by filling out this survey, by clicking here! It’s only a few  questions! I’d love your feedback to start the year off right!

Please! Pretty Please!

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The LOVE….

I love what I make. Most of the time! I love creating and making things. LOVE IT! And yes, I love sharing them. And I love the connections I have made over the years! That’s why I started doing the blog part of this in the first place, to connect with others that love the same things I do! (I’m glad Valentine’s day is coming with all this love to go around!)

You could say I’m kinda addicted to making and sharing!

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What I’m Going to Do About It….

I  almost quit last year. I almost quit blogging. Not making things, but the blogging. But ya know, I love doing them both. So I didn’t quit.

I’m going to make a point to comment on other people’s blog. I’m breaking out of my private email world and joining in on other people’s blogging communities! yep.

And as you might have noticed I’m truncating my blog posts. So if you subscribe via email you should just be getting a little blurb instead of the whole post in your email. I’m not doing it to make you actually come hang out with me. That would be a bit controlling don’t you think? Last year I had a couple of instances of people ‘borrowing’ my blog posts and putting them on their blogs…. I’m flattered they like what I wrote enough to steal it, but, um, no thanks! And everything I’ve read says that truncating helps minimize this ‘sharing’.

I have a goal, did I have this goal last year??? My goal for this year is to finish all those projects sitting in front of my fabric shelves….

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This is an old picture of my space and it’s a mess, but it doesn’t look like that now! I cleaned it to start the year off!

And I’m participating in the Sew Your Stash challenge! So far so good!

I hope you join me in another year of making! And did I mention I’m super into Instagram? You should totally follow me there!

What are you making this year? Are you changing the way you do anything?

Merry Christmas!

From my family to Yours!

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We were making wishes tonight and my son wished for everyday to be Christmas. I don’t want everyday to be Christmas, but I would like to see the kindness of Christmas last all year.

I’m taking the rest of the year off from the blog, but will be back after the first of the year! I’m going to enjoy the family and some sewing. I hope you can do the same!

Thanks for reading!

 

Our Little Library

I realized I hinted about our Little Library contest we did as a family, but I never showed you the finished, WINNING project! If you follow me on IG, you’ve already seen a lot of this!

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We have a little library in our neighborhood and Max has wanted his own for a while now. Then I saw the Libraries on The Loose Design Competition! And it wasn’t just open to architects! Kids could enter too. We had a design plan. Then Max and Dad found a great sized box, so the plan changed. Then we found more materials so the design was a bit more organic than we had originally planned!

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During the building process, Max was interviewed and on the news. He did a great job explaining his design and showing off the box that we had started. I think he stole the show in the interview! You can see it here!

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For the most part, Max was pretty involved in the building of his library. Once he would have rather played with his pal next door than come home and stain the box. But once he got home he jumped right in! Dad did say that next time we sign Max up for a competition, it needs to be a competition that he can do on his own! Oh, Dad… We all did have fun putting it together!

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Then Max filled it up! And all the books disappeared! we filled it up again and most of them disappeared. Again. We hope the books went to a home of kids that needed them. It just took some time and our neighbors are refilling, too!

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We decided to go to the Seattle Design Festival Street Party to check out the others and see what there was to see and look what we found! Max’s library won his division! Yeah!

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Max was kinda excited about his win… But way more excited about all the fun stuff at the Street Party! Like the Tape it box! Max and Dad wrapped tape all around and back again!

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The light box was pretty cool! It lit up with motion sensors.

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The big plastic tunnel was a hit! Max made friends with this guy and they had beach ball fight! It was pretty cool! Then later we saw the crazy guys behind this wandering around in green blow up suites.

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But even with all these cool things, Max’s all time favorite was this Parkour Visions installation. It’s a gym in town where they seem to mix climbing on these boxes with gymnastics and gym! Max was in love! If he could have stayed on this all day he would have!

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Yea to our Winner!

 

Seattle Modern Quilt Guild Retreat

Superbowl weekend I headed to Vashon Island for the Seattle Modern Quilt Guild’s first ever retreat!!

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When we first planned the retreat we didn’t realize it was super bowl weekend. Then we figured it out and some knew they would leave early, but it wasn’t a big deal to most. And then it ended up becoming quite the big deal for a lot of us! And the rest of Seattle! Even the ferries were ‘In’!

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image via A Quilter’s Table

After the ferry ride, I made to the retreat and found my ‘roomies’, my friend Debbie of A Quilter’s Table and her fun daughter, Rachel of Snippets of Sweetness! We had a great time getting to know each other even better than before!

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Our buddy Kristen joked us all up with fantastic swag bags! We got candy! Discounts from Quality Sewing and vacuum, Pacific Fabrics, Island Quilter, Town Square Fabric and Yarn and Quilt Sandwich Fabrics. There were also cute notebooks, a key chain, a little scissor and measuring tape combo and fabric from Quilt Sandwich Fabrics and Gossypium Quilt Shop!

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We had two lovely ladies in charge of planning some retreat activites that you could choose to participate in or not. And those lovely ladies were myself (hehehe) and my new friend Vicki of Sew Inspired Blog! One of the activites was a hand sewn project Dirty Santa! Do you play Dirty Santa at Christmas?? This was a lot of fun!! Usually have of the presents are silly, but with this one all the presents were things people had made, os I don’t thin kthere would any way anyone would go home dissapointted. I made the lovely lily pad bowl and plate designed by my friend and sponsor, Michelle of Michelle Made Me.

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I admit, I did a little stealing to get this pouch from another friend Chandra of Mildly Gifted! I was needing a bigger pouch for my little carry around project that I, obviously, carry around with me. It’s outgrowing my current pouch. So I needed a new one and I loved this one! Perfect! I was holding my breath that no one would steal it from me! And it turns out that that the adorable little polaroid bits glow in the dark! Who knew!

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We stayed a wonderful location, Camp Burton on Vashon Island. The ‘dorm’ was right next to our sewing space. And the dining room was just a 3 minute walk away! And all of this overlooked the water. Although, I didn’t pay much attention to the beautiful surroundings since I was sewing SO MUCH!

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image via A Quilter’s Table

We did walk down to the water for a few minutes on Sunday with Debbie, Vicki and Kristen!

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But otherwise, if I wasn’t eating or sleeping, I was sewing, just down the table from Debbie! You can see what I was working on here.

Another project we had for people to participate in was a Round Robin session. Some of our guild had done this at Quiltcon, I think, and then did it again amongst themselves. The one we did at the retreat was in groups of 4 and timed. Before we started we sat and talked about our fabric. We brought our own fabric and let people know if they could and to it or not! We had about 15 minutes to make our own start. Then we passed our started piece and our pile of fabric to the next person. Then we had about 30 minutes before we traded again. We worked on each others for about 30 minutes.

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I took before and after pictures of each of my rounds. The before pictures are the what the piece looked like when it got to me. the alters are after I was done…

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The are the four final pieces from our group.

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And this is all eight of the finished round robin improve session! I want to do a session at home. Anyone want to join me???

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image via A Quilter’s Table

Aren’t we a cute group? We are a fantastically talented group, that’s for sure! (You can see a bit of what we all do here) It was such an amazing weekend. I really felt like I got to know more people, but really got to know them better. I feel like I made so many new friends. I knew most everyone before I left for the retreat, but when I headed home, I was leaving new friends, not just guild acquaintances! And talk about inspiring! I was inspired by so many of these women and on such different levels! I cant’ wait to do it again! Thank you ladies!

A Super Hero Party

I can’t believe another birthday has come and gone! It’s been 5 years since the little guy joined us! And this years theme… Superheroes! In case you haven’t noticed from all the costumes I’ve been making!

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About a week after his Pirate Party last year, pirates were kinda out (even though he swears they aren’t and he still plays them sometimes) and superheroes were in! SO we’ve been learning a lot about super heroes. It all started with Spiderman. Which he still loves ALOT! but now his favorite one is the Flash, since he says they have the same super power.

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As usual, Momma made fun invitations and Dad made most of the decorations! The invites were based on old school BatMan comic books, were coloring book comics on the inside and mailed the clear plastic envelopes that you buy vintage comic books in. Not sure the kids really got the clear envelope thing, but I did and it made me happy! I do know that the kids like the invite, though! And as usual Dad made almost life size superheroes decorations and a bunch of little buildings! And of course, Max LOVED helping make everything and really being a part of all the planning!

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I asked the Post Office people if I could mail the invitations in the clear envelope and was told ‘No, plastic envelopes will melt in the machines we run them through.’ Well, that didn’t make any sense to me! So what did I do? I mailed them anyway. And of course I mailed one to myself just to make sure. And did it come back to me? Why yes it did! Did they make it to the other party kids? Why yes they did!

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Since his birthday is the end of September, we never know about the weather. And this year we got rained out of the park. Luckily, we called Camp Long where Max had his Dragon Land Party, and there big room was still available 2 days before the party. And it was perfect! And it stormed all day! I can’t take as good of pictures inside, but the kids don’t care about that! The party favors were the capes and the masks and the kids loved running around with them, or laying on the floor pretending to be flying! They seemed to have just as much fun inside as they would have outside!

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It has become a little tradition at our parties to have some sort of pay on the Pin the Tail on the Donkey game, so of course we did it again. Momma came up with Pin the Cape on the Superhero. But as Dad and Max were designing the superhero decorations, Max came up with some other options. The first one was Pin the Shorts on the Hulk, which we didn’t pick (for kinda obviously weird reasons) or Pin the Hair on the Hulk. Pin the Hair on the Hulk it was!

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The other activity we have made a tradition is the art project! So to go with the masks and capes, we gave everyone wristbands to decorate! There was a lot of glue and glitter involved!

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I’m not a huge fan of piñatas, but around here all the kids seem to have them, so this year we added in the piñata! And of course, it needed to be a superhero themed piñata, so Max, Nannie and I made a Flash piñata! I wanted to make it strong enough so that all the kids got a turn at it, but I think I ended up making it a little too tough. Some of the dad’s had to help to get it to spill out! But that was ok for the kids, once the candy and toys were spilling across the floor! Luckily, the place we had let us use one of the shelters for the piñata!

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And then it was time for the Spider Man cake! And presents! I love how the characters Dad made look like they are hanging out with the kids opening presents!

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I had promised Max a Flash costume. We had gotten the fabric and everything we needed for it, but it kept getting pushed to the bottom of the pile. Then came party decorating and party supplies came in. Then the day before the party, Max reminded me… I HAVE to have my Flash costume for my party! And that he did!

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Max turned 5 in his Flash costume!

Stay tuned for more party fun this week! As I mentioned above, my pictures of the ‘pieces’ didn’t’ all come together during the party, but we had a lot of fun pieces and more to come that were planned, but not finished in time. I don’t know why, I knew it was a super hero party plenty of time ahead, but for some reason I didn’t get all the pieces of plan pulled together in time. At the last minute it came down to me having my ‘pieces’ or the kiddo having his costume. The costume won!

An Unplanned Blogging Break, kinda

I don’t know if you’ve noticed or not, but I haven’t been blogging on my usual schedule lately. Have you noticed? I’m kinda curious!

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I’ve seen a few other bloggers take an August break from blogging and I thought to myself, that’s a good idea, but then didn’t plan on it. But my family and I have gotten bitten by the end of summer travel bug and I haven’t been able to keep up with my blogging like I usually do because we’ve been off having a fantastic August!

I don’t usually share too much about my life outside of crafting and sewing on this blog, but since I’ve been a bit sporadic this month, I thought I’d show you what I’ve been up too!

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The first weekend of this month, we headed ended up with a random camp spot at this place that we probably would never have picked out for ourselves, but we had a good time! It was down on the Hood Canal, a bit south and west of Seattle. Max’s first tent camping experience! No that he’s new to camping! Oh, no, he’s been going since he was about 6 months. We usually have a little trailer where we camp. And I found a MASSIVE amount of sand dollars! I’ve never found a full sand dollar on the west coast. We also love our happy face rock!

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Then we went to Bellingham, a nice getaway, but nothing spectacular. And then came the most fun weekend… Mt Rainier and Mt St Helens! Not long ago the kiddo had compared something to Mt Rainier and I realized that he had never been there! So we went! And the little kiddo climbed almost 1000 feet up Mt Rainier! It was awesome! I’ve wanted to see a marmot for YEARS and now I can say I saw one!

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We stayed in a teepee! How cool is that? I’d seen it last year and knew we had to check it out. It just happened to be right between the two mountains. So the next day we headed to Mt St Helens. I thought it would be a little drive in, look around and drive back. Um…. It was that, but so much more than that. I was shocked at how cool it was. We went in through the blast side and the force of nature, 20 years later, is still magnificent! That white stuff in the lake… is trees. Thousands of trees uprooted from the blast! And we found a million frogs! Some still tadpoles. A fantastic science lesson for the kiddo!

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We had such a great time that we came home on Monday night, figured out a road trip for the next weekend, and headed out again on Saturday. This time we headed east, to Eastern Washington. Again. Amazing! It’s so amazing how Seattle is this lush green place that you think of when you think of the Pacific Northwest. But the state changes dramatically as you drive over the Cascades Mountains! We headed east, visited friends, went fossil hunting and did some more camping! I was just in awe of the changing landscape the whole time! And back home on Tuesday night!

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Soooo…. See why I haven’t been crafting and sewing too much this month? I hope you don’t mind! We did collect all sorts of things for crafting though. I just might have a sand dollar craft coming up…. And we collected a lot of driftwood down by the teepee for Driftwood Monsters and then we’re going to do a little crafting with our fossils too! Fun things coming up!

In short, I didn’t take a full on break, but I’ve been busy having a blast with the family and the blog hasn’t been top priority! Summer is winding down and I’ll be back full force in September with fun things!

Did you do much traveling this summer?

Our Mending Bag

I’m baaaaacccckkkkk! I wasn’t planning on taking a blogging break last week, but I obviously did! I was cramming and cramming to get my LEED professional credentials updated and some other projects, a swap and some etsy orders, before we went out of town for the weekend. And I got it all done! Yeah!!! So now I’m back!

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What do you do with all the clothes and toys that need fixing? We have a ‘mending bag’ as we call it. Unfortunately it’s kinda overflowing! But not too long ago, we were able to get come things out of the bag and fixed! These are just a few of the things in the bag!

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Do you watch Doc McStuffins? The cartoon about the little girl doctor who fixes all the neighborhood kids toys? She always make up names for her patients problems! I totally feel like her when I’m fixing the toys! This one here had ‘shoulder outplacisha’, brought on my out dog ‘cousins’.

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But we got it fixed. Along with Blue Bears ‘crackia skull-itis’, the sponge camera’s ‘lens teariosis’, and the plane’s ‘rear wing fracture.’ It’s tough work, but as Doc Mcstuffins says, ‘The Doc is in!’

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Then a lady on our parents email group asked if any one could sew and restuff a beloved lion stuffy. So I had to tell her that I could help. We’re in the same boat with our beloved stuffie, but I haven’t restuffed him yet. So I took on the lion’s ‘tough love anorexia’ and restuffed him back to a healthy weight!

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This guy is ready to get back to his pals! The kiddo was pretty adamant that I needed to do something about the Lion’s mane, but I didn’t!

The toys and stuffies are my favorite to mend for two reasons. First, I have this weird thing in that I give inanimate objects a bit more personality than they have (as in I kinda think Toy Story is a true story…..) and I know they are super excited to be fixed and out of the mending bag. And secondly, the kiddo is always so excited to get his toys back! But I do need to get in there and get the clothes done too! Have you done any mending lately?

 

Shared with these Link Parties!

Vintage Quilt Looking!

I’d for the title to be shopping, but it’s just looking! As you know, we recently took our yearly trip to my home in Alabama and our family beach house.

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See that screened in porch?? That’s where I LOVE to sew and where I was telling you about in this post.

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But we didn’t start off our visit at the beach. We started in Montgomery visiting my Dad and Stepmom. Where we had our yearly trip to the zoo and Max had his first bowling adventure with the funny shoes!

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There was a day or two when the grandparents had to work, so the kiddo and I went and checked out some flea markets! The kiddo got lots of vintage books and I got to look at some great quilts! That blue hexi one was my favorite! I’m still in love with it and I still want it. I even negotiated the price a little, but they only came down from $175 to $150… It’s totally worth $150, but I didn’t have it to be spending on a quilt top this year! The other quilts were fantastic too. And, Ok, I couldn’t help but through in this AMAZING vintage dress too!

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I didn’t get the hexi quilt, but I did find these hexi flowers that were way more in line with my budget, so I brought those home! And I’m pretty sure they are leftovers from the blue hexi quilt top!

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Also at this place I found these amazing paintings by the Southern Folk Artist Mose T that I love! We don’t have any of his painting in our little folk/outsider art collection and I wanted to add one of these. But like the quilt tops, they were slightly out of my price range for this trip and they didn’t’ come home with me… sad, but true…

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Then the rest of trip looked more like this everyday!

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We did leave the beach one day and headed inland to do some shopping. We were supposed to be going to a fabric shop, but somehow we missed it and they closed before we could get there….. I guess that’s what happens when your the only girl shopping with 2 boys! Instead we found a few more antiquey flea markets and these were some of the quilts we found! These were more my price range, but I wasn’t in love like I am with the blue one up top.

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Then we finished all the trip like this again! Check out that amazing storm cloud! We watched it roll down the beach. We were going to wait it out, but it also brought wind and freaked out the little guy. As we were headed to the car we realized it was a HAIL cloud! Once we made it to the car, packed the car and got in, it was over! I’d never been hailed on at the beach!

I’ll have to keep ya posted on what I do with those vintage hexi flowers I found! Do you have any summer plans?

Shared with these Link Parties!

Thriftin’ on Thursday!

Ok, so I didn’t actually go thriftin’ today, but I thought I’d tell you about our adventures! Last weekend we were supposed to have our family pictures taken in Tacoma. So we headed out and then found out, on the way there (it’s about 45 minutes or so from here), that our photographer didn’t actually put us in his calendar. Even though he gave the date, etc… Anyway…. We ended up having a great time together after all!

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As we were turning around we decided to check out the Antique Row in downtown Tacoma. Our first little find was the Graffiti Garage. We love some graffiti… I’ll admit it, we do like it! It’s probably not the best thing to teach our child, but hey! I love the colors with the pink and yellow one above. Unknown Artist…  It was pretty inspiring to me. My husband and I hatched a plan of me making a quilt and then he adds a stencil to it!

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And the guys posing in front of more….

Then we headed to some shops! My son kept getting the good deals. Free bracelets (those that he’s holding in the picture above), discounted butterflies, a free stained glass picture…. He’s cute! What can I say?

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This one store had all these fairy tale figures from an old playground at one of Tacoma’s parks. They were sooooo cool! But so out of our price range. oh, well…. They were even inspiring and my husband and I were thinking of ways to make our own! MAybe a tutorial one day?? Who knows! (don’t hold your breath though!)

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And here’s all of our loot! The stained glass piece is kinda cool. Especially for free. It does have a little broken part. but maybe we can fix it. Or it just becomes backyard art and we’re fine with the flaw.

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The print of the nativity is pretty cool. The lady said it was from the early 1900’s. Who knows. I just liked it! If you know anything about it, please let me know.

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Some cool books that I can ‘t wait to read. The kid doesn’t seem so interested!

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But the superhero’s on the other hand. They are a hit.

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And check out Invisible Girl! Can you see her? Isn’t she cool!

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Then my son found these butterflies and HAD TO HAVE THEM. He wants to make a butterfly quilt. hmmm… A small one he said. So these are the ones he picked out.

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Then the next shop we went into had this beautiful butterfly quilt! I figured, hey, let’s just buy a butterfly quilt… But alas, it needed a LOT of work and was out of my price range, so I left it there and came home with my son’s butterflies instead! But how funny.  Right after the kiddo comes up with the butterfly quilt idea, we find one!

We had a good day and found some fun stuff. We’re going back in June to actually have our pictures taken! I’ll keep posted on that.. ha!

Did you get out and about and do anything fun this past weekend? Or are you doing anything this weekend? It’s supposed to be beautiful here in Seattle! 80 degrees! YEA! For 2 days! YEA!

Goodbye Google Reader, Hello Blog Lovin’ and Feedly

How do you follow blogs? I follow by email… Which really fills up my inbox, for sure. No clue how many blogs I actually follow! But I know most people follow through RSS feed and readers, like Google Reader…

I don’t know why, but readers have always confused me! I can do a lot online and with my blog. But for some reason, it’s just been easier for me to follow by email.

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I’m sure you’ve seen that Google Reader, one of the biggest online readers is going away as of July 1st. But I do hope that if you do follow this blog via Google Reader that you are finding a new reader that you can keep track of my craziness! The two readers that I’ve been seeing the most of lately is Bloglovin’ and Feedly.

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I seem to prefer bloglovin’. To me, who like I said, finds these readers a bit confusing, this one is super easy to set up and get going. When I set up my account, the blogs I do follow in Google were right there.

And then the other one that most people seem to like is Feedly. But to me, it was more confusing…. But to those of you out there up on the whole reader thing, it might be perfectly clear!

Good Luck finding a new reader, but remember to follow me in whichever one you end up with!

There are new buttons to both of these readers in the Follow me section on the right hand side.

 

Thanks again for reading my blog!

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