swans, elephants…lice

So there’s a mini crib in our room now.  Love that fabric.  Love that crib sheet tutorial.

Mini CribIt’s a little surreal.  Zeke is 16, Millie is 14.   Baby stuff has been gone for a loooong time, and now we’re getting it all back again.  My husband and I were putting the crib together, and I kept asking him if he was OK.  He says he is.  He’s pretty cool.  I read that there’s this super lice now.  Like lice with super powers.  I told my husband about this.  I’m like, “And we’re a fuchsia state.  That’s bad.  We could have the super lice come ridin into our house on a kid.”  He’s like, “Yeah, probably.”  Like I said, he’s pretty cool.

Today I got up early and taught a barre class, and I was nervous.  But everybody was really nice and smiled at me and I like that.  And my friend Amy, who teaches killer tabata, got up early (5:30) and drove over to the studio just to see if I was OK and to encourage me.  That’s a friend.  I thank God for my friends.

My quads ache.

Today I hope to just make stuff.

I’m the worst embroiderer ever, but I just keep on.  I did a swan…

Swan Embroidery(I like swans)

Swan Shelf…which now needs to be a wee quilt.  So I’ll do that.

And I really want to embroider an elephant.  I like elephants too.



tiny dresses for tiny humans

I can’t believe these wee things would actually fit a human.  They’re just so tiny!

LittleGeraniumDress2LittleGeraniumDress1I had the fabric scraps…

and the pattern was free…

and there sat my sewing machine…

I like looking at flowers on fabric and all, but I’m ready to look at flowers outside.  Lenten roses, primroses, forsythia, daffodils, Redbud blossoms…

Oh! I’m going to San Diego!  Soon!  And our friends are going to take us to see ranunculus (ranunculi??) outside.  That’s crazy.  I always see ranunculus in seed catalogs (which I’m getting daily right now–you?), but as much as I love them I know they’d face certain death here.

Stay warm.  Stay hopeful.

september and i just b sewin’

…with my little pin doggie.

P1070364I can’t believe I haven’t posted anything here for over a month.

I’ve been tweeting, though, so that’s something, right?

I started teaching a Physical Science course at a homeschool co-op.  Very new to me.  I generally stay at my house and, you know, sew.  My little brain is like but I don’t want to think about Newton’s laws; I just want to think about sewing stuff. 

Like when I’m supposed to be teaching Latin, but end up coloring the insides of tea boxes.


My friend went to Homer, Alaska and brought me this rock.

P1070363I love rocks.  I think my friend is very brave to go someplace where Grizzly bears eat people.  She said it was so beautiful your words catch in your throat and you want to remember everything your eyes can take in.  She is in love with Alaska and she wants to live there.  But the Grizzlies, I remind her.  She says, lightly, dismissively, well, yes, a hiker was attacked near where she stayed, while she was there, but, you know, those things happen, and it’s just so beautiful.

It reminds me of in The Odyssey, the Sirens.

Just trying to wrap up Summer (still haven’t vacationed yet) and get ready for Fall (yay, Fall!!!).  My little flower garden is still spitting out a few blooms here and there.

P1070359We have company coming next month and I’m trying to create some little play areas for their little ones.

P1070366Under the stairs will have to do.

I have been trying to make a more conscious effort to do things when it’s convenient.

Like, instead of making a special trip to the store for something for a meal, just postpone the meal, make whatever I can using what I have on hand, and then pick up groceries the next time I happen to be driving by the store.

And just saying no when people ask me to do stuff that’s going to make me harried or so tired that I’m not much of a help anyhow.

I’m trying to schedule dental and ortho appts on days when I’m going to be out and about.

Just killing two birds with one stone, that kind of thing.  I know, it’s common sense, but I certainly get caught up in the insanity and then have to reign it back in.

OK, but one area I’m having a hard time with is in my decision to make running more convenient.  Normally, I drive to a rec center where I can run indoors in the air conditioning, and then shower.  And then drive home all happy and clean.  My new convenient running plan has me swinging by the hilly park on my way home from dropping my daughter off at dance, say, and running in the hot August sun mid-afternoon.  It’s like running in a bag.  Sweat comes out, but then does it go into the air?–no, it runs down my neck and arms and legs, drenching my headphones and clothing and socks and shoes and watch band.  My glasses fog up, and then my nose is all sweaty and my glasses sliiiiiiiide down my nose, resting on the very tip.  Then after I run I get into my car and drive home, my sweat leeching through the beach towel I’ve draped over my seat, and into the upholstery.  I’ve got the AC cranked up, because I’m about to die.  And then suddenly I go from immensely hot to immensely cold.  The AC has cooled my soggy clothing and I am now freezing, thinking how I’d like to take a hot bath once I get home.  It’s 95 degrees outside.  My dear friends, this ought not to be.

Running should be convenient AND pleasant.  The unfairness of it all is turning me into this bitter, bitter gal.

I fear I may have to revert back to a state of inconvenience.

Which is simply unacceptable.


summer sewing and not cooking

P1070288I got a sheet set that came in a little fabric bag.  Cut the bag up.  And a duvet cover that came with shams–yeah, right, like we use shams, cut those up.  Made a wee bedding set for a little girl I know.  (Clementine box doll bed.  It’s gotta be a clementine box bed.)  This little girl is just the most adorable thing ever.  She has three older brothers who are all really boyish boys.  They’re always in their tree house or digging up sassafras roots to make actual homemade soda (they collect antique bottles and let things ferment and they have some gadget that crimps the bottle caps on–it’s crazy; they’re the real deal), and then their tiny sister is there with her dainty Mary Jane shoes and her baby dolls and her baby doll “car seats” (little wicker baskets)–which her mama actually buckles into their vehicle.   I can’t wait to give it to her!!!

Working on my daughter’s quilt.

P1070291My pattern is: looking at a Pinterest picture on my phone every two minutes.  Needless to say, I really have no idea what I’m doing, and I’m confusing myself.

I finally finished a little lap quilt.  It’s not a quilt, technically, just a blanket.  Front and back.  I’m thinking it will be nice for an ever so slightly chilly fall afternoon on the back porch.

P1070296People have been giving me produce.  See how nice it looks on my counter?

P1070293Will I do anything with it, though? Ah, that’s the question.

I’m such a horrid cook.  Wish I could just toss stuff in a pan and saute it to perfection.  Add a liddabit of dis, a liddabit of dat, and…poof!  Food for the people!

But no.  I’m all looking on the Internet, trying to find a recipe, getting discouraged when I have everything but the marjoram, looking for another recipe, altering a recipe, cooking some ghastly concoction, burning the food, starting a fire, turning off the smoke detectors, answering the door cause my neighbors have come over to see if we’re OK because they heard the smoke detectors, crying a little bit, scrubbing my stove, having to take another shower to get the smell off, going to bed late and exhausted…

In the end, it’s just so much easier to take a picture of the vegetables, and then go sew something.

Do you know what I mean?  Does anybody…know? what I mean?

Probably not.  Probably just me.

something to paint, something to sew

P1070268Finally.  Seriously.  I think I began this quilt in…January?  I’m never free-motion quilting a queen-size quilt again.  It’s just too much wrestling that through the harp on my machine.

I need a bed skirt, huh?  But I can’t have a bed skirt because when I have a bed skirt on my bed my dogs suddenly want to go under it.  They rarely want to go under my bed, except when they hear thunder, gunshots (no, we don’t, fortunately, live near gangs–people hunt back in the woods behind our house), or fireworks.  But when I put a bed skirt on my bed, my dogs want to go under the bed like 100 times a day.  In and out, in and out, and I forget to close my bedroom door, so they go under the skirt, then they wedge themselves far under there where I cannot reach them.  So then my bed skirt (Hey! Wake up! No nodding off here!) becomes hairy and filthy, and it’s like, What’s that hairy filthy fabric doing round the bottom of your bed?

You may see a pattern/theme emerging from this blog, which is: Shannon has very poor boundaries concerning her animals.

Shannon has very poor boundaries, period.

Hi.  I’m Shannon.  I don’t know why I’ve reverted to the third person.

Anyhow, the next quilt I want to make is one that looks like this blanket:

quiltIwanttomakeThe link is from Pinterest, but I can’t pull up the actual original page.

I went to Lowe’s and found colors.

P1070271My daughter wants her room that Beach Glass color, so I guess we’re going to do that soon, and I’ll start trying to make a quilt that looks similar to that.

That’s the plan, at least.

Always something to paint, always something to sew.

That’s how I like it. 🙂

getting ready, and mountain lions

If we receive no more snow, I’m cool with that.  When it snows kids and dogs run in and out, in and out of this house, which makes Tennessee clay mud on my pickled white floors.  I spread out beach towels for the kids to put their wet stuff and muddy boots on.  I try to wipe the dogs’ paws.

To no avail.

It’s just a big muddy mess for days until the snow is finally gone, and then I swoop in and clean like a madwoman.

We’re waiting on Spring.  We’ve had a few wonderfully balmy days.  Ordered some seed from a new (to me) company called Sow True Seed out of Asheville.  I’m waiting on a grow light kit to come in the mail.  Cleared out a corner, got out the card table, seeds upon it….

P1070006In the very meantime I’m trying to wrestle this quilt through my machine, and finish a scarf for my sister, whose birthday is in a few weeks.

P1070010That movie there is a must see, according to my dad.

P1070011I love the smoke coming out of his gun.  Looks like a trick lighter.

Also helping my daughter make a demo quilt from a pattern in this book for quilt camp this summer.

P1070005So, more rambling, but a few weeks ago some animal cut through the wire on our chicken coop and helped itself to a chicken.  I’m a little depressed about it.  We always see evidence of animals trying to dig under the coop (they’re unsuccessful–the wire is buried, with concrete pavers around the perimeter for good measure), but in seven years nothing has actually sliced through the wire.  We know there are coyotes, bear, racoons, and skunks on our property.  Probably foxes too, although I’ve not seen them near our house, just a few miles down the road a bit.

My dad, who lives next door, said that’s interesting because he saw a mountain lion last week behind their house.  I thought he probably meant bobcat.  Because mountain lions are an animal that lives far, far, far away from here, like in California.  I Googled it.  Turns out mountain lions do live around here, and most of the sightings have been in Sevier county.  Where we live.

Mountain lions.

Lions.  That live on mountains.  They’re like 4 ft. long and well over a hundred pounds, and their teeth can cut through a tortoise shell, and they like fowl.  And attack people.

We’ve had so much trouble with predators, it’s not even funny.  Mainly coyotes, raccoons, and snakes.  The lone bear that walks his lonely, long circuit seems to stay back, happy to just eat blackberries and stink.  My friend has otters come into her yard and chase her chickens, but she’s a lot closer to a big river than we are, so otters haven’t been a problem for us.  But mountain lions? Seriously? Wow.  New level of concern.

Speaking of cats and prey, have you seen this?

OnceUponATimeIAteYourHampster{via here}

Ohhhhhhhh that makes me laugh.




stoopJanuarywoodsJanuarydogsJanuary20WaysJanuarymushroomsJanuarybranchesJanuaryrosesJanuaryP1060977A local car dealer has what they call “Vanuary”–when they have a, supposedly, big van sale in January.  I think that’s clever.  I wish I had an old VW bus; then I’d call every month Vanuary.  But I don’t.  Hey, my space-bar is sticking.  Wonder if I dropped oatmeal on it this morning.

Do I need to tell you at this point that things are a bit dull round here?

Things are a bit dull round…what was I saying?

It’s been snowing an unfair amount, I think, for East Tennesseans who didn’t sign up for this much snow.

Before Christmas I saw a drawing book at Jo-Ann’s that I really liked the looks of.  My daughter was with me.  She stood there all boooooooooored as I thumbed through it, and was all seriously? with her expression when I fawned over it.  I didn’t get it.

So my daughter got it as a Christmas gift from my dad and mom.  When I saw her unwrap it I was like, “No way!  I want that book!”

My mom said she just got it because she told all her grandkids to write down what they wanted the most for Christmas, and my daughter wrote down that book.

She wrote it down because she knew I wanted it, and if she got it, it would be like she was getting it for me.  My daughter is pretty sweet like that, and pretty frustrating like that.  She played her Christmas card for me!

So naturally I’m drawing things from it every day.  Who will be the lucky duck who gets a mushroom valentine?  Hmmm.

I have exactly a week now to paint tree branches for a church Valentine’s Day dinner.  For centerpieces.  I’m going to dangle wee hearts from them.  It looked good on Pinterest.  Famous.  Last.  Words.

STINKING       SPACE-BAR       YOU     WILL            SUBMIT

Oh, and I made Loch Ness Monster plushies, as per this lovely pattern.  Nessie and Nesette they’re called.  I’m giving them to my 3-year old niece.  (Also made one for my 14 yr old son.  Because he asked me for one.  I find this hilarious.)  If my niece doesn’t like them, then I’m going to instruct my sister to play with them herself.  Do some role-playing or something.  I mean, I’m not giving away LOCH NESS MONSTERS and them not be played with, cause that’s just wrong.