On hold until further notice

I hate to admit defeat, but these kids take a lot of work.  I didn’t know that an extra kid is exponentially harder.  So for now I’m giving up my podcast, my blog, my quilting, etc. etc.

Hope you are enjoying quilting – I’m jealous!

Podcast 32 – OMG, I can’t believe I got time to podcast

Listen to Podcast 32

The bed we bought -Simmons Natural Care – their eco-friendly line

Corn MAiZE at the Pumpkin Patch

Oregon Zoo – they have discounted admission every second Tuesday!

Giraffe Growth Chart from Quilts, Bibs, Blankies…Oh My!

Archival Boxes

Note: I am currently working on getting better directions worked up in Adobe Illustrator, but for now, here are the bare bones.

Sponge Bob’s House Tent (a Pineapple) …Flora calls it “Boppy ‘Ouse”


1 large-sized cardboard box (roughly a square with each side measuring 3 feet)

Six 8-inch sections of thick wire (we used extra Romex 12-1 wiring)

Four 10-ft lengths of pvc pipe – 1/2 inch thickness.  Cut each pipe into three 3-ft segments. Once you’re done cutting you should be left with twelve 3-ft sections and four 1-ft sections.

Six 45-degree angled connectors (1/2 inch size)

One T-connector (1/2 inch size) for connecting the chimney to one of  the sides

One 90-degree connector (1/2 inch size) for creating the chimney look

One end cap (1/2 inch size) for topping off the chimney

One piece of light cardboard (I used a cereal box)

5-ft of sew-on velcro

9-yd of orange fabric

1-yd of green fabric

1/2 yd blue fabric

blue painters tape

bunch of duct tape – we used white to match (found at Joann)


Connect 3-ft segments of pipe together with a 45 degree connector (should have 6 pairs).

On one pair of pipes cut pipe about 4 inches down and attach T-connector.  Using a scrap piece of pipe cut in half (2 six inch sections) and connect with the 90 degree connector and top off with cap.  This should form the chimney.

Drill two holes on the bottom of each pair to thread wire across. (We did about 3/4 inch up).  Thread wire through the pipe, down through the cardboard, up through the cardboard on the other side, then twist wire tightly and trim.

With great excess of tape, wrap around the connecting poles until it looks like a huge mess.  Then use some more tape.

Cut 6 four inch strips selvage to selvage (45 inches) of green fabric.  Fold in half, so it is 22 inches long, right sides together, and sew up each side.  Turn right side out and slip over the top of the pipes.

With one person holding a side of orange fabric, cut triangle-shaped trapezoids, overlapping the pipe about an inch.  After each shape is cut, pin together, creasing the fabric so when you go to sew, you just sew along the crease-line.  It helps to leave over night to let the seams “set.”  Measure the long bottom of the triangle, and attach a piece of fabric that length, so it covers one whole side of the hexagon-pyramid.  Then sew 5 sides together, leaving the side with the chimney un-sewn as that will have velcro the length of it, and the door which needs a little bit different care.

For the “door” measure two pieces of orange fabric that overlap 4 inches.  Fold over the long lengths and sew a quarter inch finishing seam where the kid will be running through. On the left side of the door, cut a door out of blue fabric that is approximately 8 inches wide and 20 inches tall, with a rounded top. Sew the two pieces to the trapezoid piece above it.

To the left of the door panel cut a circle out for the upper story window.  I used a plate and traced around it, then cut a smaller circle a half inch away (not going all the way to the line I drew) so I could cut every inch or so trapezoids around the circle and could fold over 1/2 inch pieces while I sewed 1/4 inch seam.

For the chimney top cut a circle out (i used a bowl) and cut a wedge out (it should look like Pac-Man) and fold it down until it overlaps into an appropriate looking cone shape.  Tape together with strong tape, then over that tape with blue painters tape.  Over the white pvc pipe of the chimney parts wrap with more blue tape.

On the sides that connect at the chimney sew velcro all down the entire length of each side so 1. it can be taken off to wash, and 2. you can easily put it around the chimney.  There are more finishing steps you can do (sew the top and bottom of the structure so no raw edges show…serge the inside seams, etc. )

Flora loves playing in this: http://www.youtube.com/oregonruvalcabas#p/a/u/0/rOD5DBGm3-g

Anthony Luis

Anthony Luis Ruvalcaba was born at 12:36pm June 16, 2010. Labor was interesting…I went from 5cm to 10cm in 30 minutes, and he came out in one contraction – I didn’t feel it because the epidural went awry.  The needle went too far, and punctured my spinal column which later gave me a fun headache.  How did it go away?  They took a whole bunch of blood, and put it back in my spine (another epidural) to fill in the hole.  But now everyone is healthy; Anthony doesn’t have any problems with his platelets, and he eats just fine…he’s a bit of a piggy to be honest.

Here are pictures of my 3 week old Anthony and my almost-two year old Flora.

What else is new?

I’ll tell you!  I finally have an induction date – June 16th…5 days before my due date.  Now, Anthony is more than welcome to come early, but he’s gone “starfish” on me, and refuses.

Also, a few weeks ago we got a kit (baby bunnies are called kits) and she is a Satin Angora – she has red fur, so I named her Scarlett O’Hare.  Yes, I’m that corny.  We got her partly because my hormones are going crazy about all things “baby” and partly because I’ll be able to take her beautiful fur to spin!   And lastly because maybe the kids will like them…but that was just a bonus.

The dogs and cat are used to her now, and they sniff at each other through the cage.  Flora and I go into the x-pen and hang out with her…Scarlett loves Flora!

And between doctor visits (I have three today) I’ve been knitting (that is one sexy beetcha there)

A cabled vest – pattern Pembroke Vest – for Flora and Anthony

And a very loud cabled sweater that I still have to straighten out and sew together…my back just isn’t up to it right now.

Today I had another ultrasound and got to see Anthony – all 6 pounds 6 ounces!  Okay, here’s another gratuitous picture of Flora.

About two weeks to go

Wanna see the quilting I’ve been doing?      <—  Yeah, there it is…a whole lotta nada.  I cannot even wait for this pudge-o to be born.  I have approximately two weeks and two days to go before an induction that hasn’t been scheduled yet.  (Talking to Anthony) Unless you want to come early!!!!  I have had more complications  (skip reading if you don’t give a patootie)

1. Headaches so bad I’m seeing a neurologist and am now on beta-blockers

2. Gestational diabetes so I eat NO sugar, not even fruit until the afternoon…and I have a sweet tooth that borders a serious addiction

3. Pregnancy hormone related depression (that’s fun for the whole family until you get on happy pills)

So every day for the next few weeks I have doctor appointments (even on Memorial Day!) including another ultrasound in a week to check the growth.  I had one 2 weeks ago, and already Anthony has HUGE cheeks and a double chin.  The sonographer said “all of his weight is in his head!”  That’s just what a mama wants to hear right before labor.  Why not big knee caps, or larger than average toes?  His HEAD!!!

Flora is doing wonderfully, and has regressed to pretending she’s a baby (climbing into the swing or bouncy seat) to the point where she is fake crying with a pacifier in her mouth (she doesn’t use pacifiers).  I think she understands that a baby is coming, but I don’t know if she realizes he’ll be here for good.  I don’t know if telling her “your nemesis is coming” is helping either.

Thank you to the folks that have been checking up on me.  I appreciate the concerns.  It’s more kindly than my family’s insistence that the baby get here sooner (like I have a say) or that it’s really hard to get vacation scheduled (so not my problem).

When I have news, I’ll share!


Wee bit of an update

77 days to go (or less)!  Which is good because the body is going to pieces…I’ve had to increase doctor visits to be able to walk without pain, and I can’t really pick up Flora that much without the ol’ back succumbing to nerve pain.  On the up side, I have been doing a lot of knitting (the angle works better for me than hand quilting) and I’ve worked on a couple of sweaters for Anthony.

Baby Surprise Jacket

Striped sweater – working on the last sleeve

Did you want to see the finished product of my weaving class?  OK!

Also, in some quilty forum news, most (all?) of the quilting podcasters have joined a website BigTent, and have a large group area for chatting, and then each podcast has their own subgroup.  Wanna chat?  Wanna find out more about other (nonlamepregnant) podcasters?  Go to http://www.bigtent.com to register, and if you are already a member, our group is called Quiltcast Supergroup. If you want to start a discussion for just this podcast, it’s a subgroup called Patchwork and Pacifiers.  Enjoy!

Podcast 31 – Bedrest ideas

Listen to Podcast 31

Weaving Sampler – Done! (well, I need to wash it, but our washing machine is leaking unknown fluid…but that’s for another time)  Taking a class at Multnomah Art Center

Notions I use to handquilt: (foldy scissors, John James size 11 needles, needle puller thingie, my acrylic nails, and American quilting thread)

Hand quilting – the iron-on template I use – discontinued

Skype phone number: 503-928-7890

Birthday dinner at The Painted Lady

Want to know more about blood clots (DVTs)?

My new master bedroom/sewing room

What I had to give away

My Flora and Anthony blanket with fun bindings

Gingerbread applique project that I’m a bit fearful of

My overbed table – I love you.

Updated Landscape Shawl safe(er) impaler – yarn I’m using is Filatura Di Crosa – Gioiello

My Shipwreck Shawl – I know it looks like a nothin…you have to click on the link to see what it REALLY looks like.  The yarn I’m using is Blue Moon Fiber Arts Silkmo in Thraven

Podcast 30 – Is it a boy or a girl?

Listen to Podcast 30

Finished Duffel Bag – pattern by Sue Spargo in her book Urban Sacs

You can’t really tell, but there are log cabin pockets along the bottom.

Before the “designy” part got put on

Arlene Sachitano’s new book Quilt As You Go

Did you know about SAQA?

Jewelry things I’ve been making – the upper two are my Swarovski crystal bracelet and canklet, and the bottom is seed beads with pearls in a pattern called “pearl fetish” from my local bead shop, Planet Bead.

My rainbow necklace made out of okay necklaces, and then you put it all together it’s just way too much:

Knitting my landscape shawl

Perhaps you didn’t get a good look at the torture device

Do you know anyone with a pelican foot?  Pattern is River Rapids (pdf).

My Topaz dress for Flora:

Detail of the fair isle:

My hand quilting project:

Podcast 29

Listen to Podcast 29

Christmas Card Holder

Knitterly things I made for Christmas gifts

Girl pattern – Calorimetry

Boy pattern – Regular hats and Koolhaas

Felted ballet flats

Bella mittens

Garter stitch scarf with shall pin I bought on etsy from Portugal!!!

Karin’s Gansey Scarf – a Ravelry link (yes, I know the date is wrong…stupidcameraIneveruse)

Herbivore (b-day right after Christmas) – yes, it’s being blocked.

Neighborly gifts

Candied walnuts

1 cup packed brown sugar

6 Tablespoons milk

1 teaspoon grated orange rind

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

2 1/2 cups walnut halves

1 teaspoon vanilla

Combine brown sugar, milk, grated orange peel, salt and cinnamon in large saucepan.  Stir to combine.  Cook over low heat until candy thermometer registers 236 degrees Fahrenheit.  Remove from heat and add the nuts and vanilla.  Stir mixture until it begins to look grainy.  Turn out onto wax paper and separate nuts to cool entirely.  Will keep in covered containers in refrigerator, but don’t freeze.

White chocolate bark (from the Barefoot Contessa Ina Garten)

  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 16 ounces very good white chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup medium-diced apricots

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Using a pencil, draw an 8 by 10-inch rectangle on a piece of parchment paper placed on a sheet pan. Turn the parchment paper over so the pencil mark doesn’t get into the chocolate.

Place the walnuts in 1 layer on another sheet pan and bake for 8 minutes. Set aside to cool and then chop roughly into large pieces.

Place 3/4 of the chocolate in a glass bowl and place it in the microwave on high power for 30 seconds. (Don’t trust your microwave timer – time it with your watch.) Stir with a rubber spatula. Put it back in the microwave for another 30 seconds and stir again. Continue to heat and stir every 30 seconds until the chocolate is just melted. Immediately, add the remaining chocolate and allow it to sit at room temperature, stirring often, until it’s completely smooth. (If you need to heat it a little more, place it in the microwave for another 15 seconds at a time.)

Pour the melted chocolate onto the parchment paper and spread it lightly into the drawn rectangle. Sprinkle the top evenly with the cooled walnuts, the cranberries and apricots. Set aside for at least 2 hours until firm, or refrigerate for 20 minutes. Cut the bark in 16 pieces and serve at room temperature.

Other stuff

Thanks podcast listener Errin!  for her chocolate and pin cushion kits! (here on etsy)

Flora’s hats – made from my handspun yarns!

The future basketball area – you need a LOT of imagination.

Quilt sleeve site suggestion

Finished family quilt

Where I go weekly: Baby Center

Look at these hot maternity clothes!

Fun Christmas music – Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer, I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas, Police Stopped My Car (a parody of Feliz Navidad)

I’m taking a weaving class!

Sister’s Quilter’s Affair registration is ready!

Arlene Sachitano has a new book out Quilt As You Go!  She’ll be at the Pine Needle January 15 & 16 signing!

My oversock 😦

Random fun pictures

Saw this barn on a road to McMinnville – maybe I’ll paint it!

Flora at Christmas

Our first family snowman (actually a snowwoman, because her name is “Eileen”) – so maybe we didn’t rake in time, and the snowman is covered with our yard leaves!  Who are you to judge?  No, I’m not sensitive!

No new episode!

I know, why are we excited about no new episode?  We’re not.  But “we” are sicker than a doggy dog.  I’m now 9 weeks pregnant, and praying that by Christmas I will be feeling much better.  I’m not even spending Thanksgiving with my family because I think I would hurl if I smelled any of the (normally delicious) food.

Since the last podcast I’ve gone to the emergency room with bleeding (false alarm), and was able to see the baby and the heartbeat, and the numbers were much better than the last pregnancy…but they did find out I had an infection (the kind where you drink cranberry juice) so I was given antibiotics.  Guess what that did?  Yup, gave me another infection…it rhymes with “east”.  So in addition to that, I’ve been so nauseaus that I can’t get out of bed, throwing up, and being just the sort of person you can stand.  Sheesh, I can’t even stand myself, all this whining!

So I’ve been playing bejeweled, and watching any and all bad television, especially on hulu.com.  I’ve been reading books when I can make it to the library, but even then I get so car sick.  I’ve been reading Louis L’Amour and am loving it!  I also started to watch House, which is funnier than I was expecting.

So I lied when I said I’m back in the saddle.  More like back in the sickbed.  I know, pregnant women, you can’t trust them.

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