AmandaCarlisleDesign - Widget
Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Leap Day Giveaway & Blog Hop

Oh my goodness!  This sounds too fun to pass by. Elizabeth at Such a Sew and Sew is having a Leap Day Giveaway Blog Hop.

Leap Day Giveaway

Even though I just had a giveaway last week (maybe we should have a weekly giveaway-lol) with Rebecca Lynne, it is LEAP DAY after all, and there won't be another Leap Day Giveaway opportunity for FOUR YEARS!!!  That's a LONG TIME!  

I plan to head over to the hop tomorrow and enter at all of the links.. maybe I'll get lucky, and if not, that's okay too.  I'll also be having fun paying it forward a little bit.  Since I didn't know about the hop much in advance and just found it earlier in the day, I decided to make it easy.  That means YOU get to pick your prize.  

One lucky follower will win:

A Fat Quarter Shop Gift Certificate for the amount of $10 which you can use to pick out the charm pack of your choice.  Or a pattern, or to put toward anything else you choose. :o)

You can enter from now until 11:59 p.m. PST on 2/29/12.

Just leave me a comment letting me know you follow.  Unless I've known you for a really long time, then you can leave a comment telling me your middle name. lol  That's it, only one entry per person.  I'll announce the winner on March 1st.

HAPPY LEAP DAY (Year, for that matter!)

After you enter, hop around and enter the others. :o)

A non-Swoon Doggie Post

Today is the Share Your Pets edition of Tuesday Treasures over @ Melody's house on the side of a hill.

I could not write this post without mentioning our dog, Duke, who we lost the summer of 2009.  He was 13 years old, and we had to make the dreaded decision.  I originally blogged about it at my old blog in the summer of 2009 and posted this slide show:

I've been wanting to do this for a while, but haven't had the time or energy to sit and go through these photos on the computer... We lost our dog, Duke on June 22nd.  He was almost 13 years old.  He was just a puppy when I met my husband.  We really got to know each other taking him for walks.  All these years later, he was a big part of our lives.  Saw many changes.  Protected me and made me feel safe when I lived alone..  it was while walking the dog that Chris, my husband, proposed to me.., he was there when I sold my house and moved into Chris's house, when we brought our baby home from the hospital, and when we moved to the house we now live in.  I feel lucky to have had such a good dog.  He taught Austin a love for animals and how to be gentle and kind to the elderly since he was already a "senior" when Austin was born.  He was such an easygoing dog.  Anyway, here is my little tribute to him, along with some listening enjoyment..  We will always love our Duke the Dog!

Austin was not quite three when we lost Duke, and he grieved hard!  We all did. :o( 

Then, a few months later, we were needing another dog in our lives and along came Buster.. our new family member who stole our hearts right away!  He's a mess but we LOVE him!!

Baby Buster:

The look that said 
it all!  

My little one is definitely a 'dog person'. :o)

and there is sure enough of this one to go around!  He's grown so much in two years!

Both of them have.. :/

Time just flies by too fast!!  Gonna link up @ Melody's Tuesday Treasures.  I heard a rumor that there might be prizes?  Maybe you'd like to link up too! Happy Tuesday. xo
Sunday, February 26, 2012

Swoon #6 brought to you by a cancer PSA

Yesterday, I had a very important decision to make.

Finish Swoon #6 or clean the house.  If any of you think I cleaned the house...

THINK AGAIN! ahahaaha  :o)

To be fair, I cleaned a little.  And sewed a lot.  One has to stay sane, right?  I was able to get a picture of them all together, barely, but I don't know if I will be able to after this.. they take up a lot of room!

And now for the cancer part of this post.  I was contacted a few weeks ago by Melanie Bowen from the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance and she asked me if I would be willing to post an article she had written and link to the blog.

Of course, being a cancer survivor, I said yes.  I did not have mesothelioma, however, but Hodgkin's Disease.  In stage 3A of 4 stages when diagnosed, and 8 months of chemo and 4 weeks of radiation, which ended just before my 20th birthday and I have been cancer free ever since.  I believe Melanie's article can apply to all who have experienced or are experiencing any kind of cancer, and can even apply generally to life.  Thanks for finding me Melanie!

Write Yourself Well

For anyone dealing with any health challenges: from depression to mesothelioma cancer, writing can become part of wellness therapy.  Recording aspirations, thoughts, feelings and occasions is therapeutic and inspirational both in the writing and in the reviewing of what has been written. Dr. Weil cites medical studies showing that people who journal experience higher immune function and lowered frequency of chronic physical symptoms.

Goal setting is not only going to get you where you want to be, it will give you a sense of direction and a sense of accomplishment.  If you don’t know where you are going you cannot choose your path.  Embrace your life; take charge of its direction.

Accomplishments require three main steps:  dream, discipline, and delight.  Identify your desires and record them.  Whether you choose a journal or an online blog matters not.  This proactive step is about finally living on your terms, whether it is for wellness or for dreams you’ve always possessed but never acted upon.  Whatever your desire is, take the first leap into making it come to fruition by journaling about it.

Discipline does not have to be a scary word; all it really means is that you are at the action stage of reaching your delight.  Record your plan in your chosen format and continue to add to it, change it and edit it as you go through the discipline process.  Take joy in being self-motivated and accountable to yourself.  Take comfort in the flexibility to change every single thing about your plan if you want to do so.  It is your plan.

Record your thoughts and events that occur along your road to fulfilling your lifelong wishes and along your road to wellness.  You will enjoy reading through it, and it is a tangible reminder of how far you have come.  Reviewing at least part of your records each day is a tool to stay focused and optimistic.

The delight of accomplishing your goals is the reward you reap from going through the discipline process.  Imagine how you will feel to write, “I did it!” in your journal or blog.  Later, reading about your delight will buoy your spirits as you head toward the next goal on your list.

Writing your dreams down suddenly makes them more real and more reachable.  So, write it all down.  Write about taking the doctor’s prognosis and tossing it out the window.  Write about the trip you’re saving for.  Write about your fitness goals.  Write about the book you’ll write, the degree you’ll earn, the healthy foods you’ll eat.  Make a list a mile long if you wish.  You can accomplish anything with three simple steps:  dream, discipline, and delight.

See?  Blogging is healthy! :o)  I KNEW it!  Thanks again, Melanie!

You know what else is healthy?  Having a dog.  Random fact:  Petting a dog for 10 minutes releases oxytocin in both you and the dog.  This is the bonding hormone that is released in nursing mothers when they are feeding their babies.  It also lowers your blood pressure and your heart rate. :o)
Buster the other night at the dog park. He had such a good time that he collapsed in the bushes for a rest on the way to the car. 

Blogs and dogs. :o)
Healthy and Drama Free!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Winner, Winner Chicken Dinner!

Rebecca of Making Rebecca Lynne and I drew our winners today in our Tandem Drama Free Giveaway. :o)  She has posted her winner.. congrats Sana, go and visit her blog.  She really really REALLY wanted to win, so I am very excited that she won--and now for my winner..

(I'm less computer savvy than Rebecca so you'll have to imagine the Mr. Number Generator and the pic of the entry that won itself, but I promise, I drew it random!) 

Drum roll....symbols clash!

Congrats to..

Ida from My Sister Made Me Do It. Whose blog is named so, because well, her sister nagged her into blogging.  :o)  Congrats Ida, so nice to *meet* you in blog land.  Thanks for joining our giveaway.  As Rebecca states in her post, we could be having more Drama Free giveaways in the future, as 2012 marches forward, so stay tuned.  This was honestly so much fun!  

I am also planning a giveaway in March to celebrate a blogging milestone, so stay tuned for that.

So happy for Ida, and Sana!  OH, and I almost forgot, Ida is having her own giveaway right now too.  So head over to My Sister Made Me Do It and check it out!  If you didn't win here, maybe you'll win over there!  Hope everyone is having a great weekend.  Thanks again for playing with us and making this a ton of fun!


(Off to work on Swoon #6..  or clean the house.. ??)
Wednesday, February 22, 2012

swooning along in the sick house..

So I finally got over whatever allergic reaction I had to whatever I'm allergic to..just in time for my son to come down with bronchio laryngitis. :( Raspy breathing all night, barely able to talk..

One Dr. appt., plus one inhaler, plus a trip to the store to get a new humidifier b/c we couldn't get the old one to work, plus the ENTIRE (as in did not move) day on the couch watching cartoons-which has NEVER happened in his 5 years of life, and the entire night with the humidifier going and he woke up breathing better and talking.  Whew.  What a relief.  

He has rarely been sick in his life, (all those times I caught him chewing on the cart handle at Target as a baby must have built his immune system!) so when he gets this sick, it just almost makes me physically sick.  It's so hard to watch your kid be sick.  Parents who have kids with chronic illnesses are my heroes.  I can't imagine the strength they have!

So while he was on the couch, I spent my time Swooning over #5. (in between surfing the DVR for cartoon after cartoon--thank goodness I hadn't erased all of the ones we had recorded, they really came in handy!)

So here is #5, in my classic blurry photo style. :o)  It's red and black, I like it a lot.

This particular secondary fabric reads as a solid, but it really isn't. It has a cute little swirly pattern that I love.  The lighter green in the #4 block has this same swirl print. So does the yellow I'll be using next.

Next, I will be cutting out #6.  I have the yellow pieces cut, now just need to cut the blue.

Here is the Swoon family so far all laid out in the floor with my little step stool hiding a little stain on the rug. LOL

I will say it again.. I LOVE this pattern, it's so much fun to sew. :o)

Giveaway is still open, just scroll back a couple of posts to enter.  And have a great Wednesday/Thursday.  Gonna link up with Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesday and Making Rebecca Lynne for TTT. xo
Sunday, February 19, 2012

Sunday Swoon #4

Well, I have still been busy swooning yesterday and today.  Here is #4.  It isn't my favorite.  I really thought it would be but eh.. I really really like the yellow and black one the best so far I think. But I do like this one, though. 

I had a hard time getting a decent photo of the four of them together.

We'll just have to see how they all look together in the end.  I'm cutting one now that will have black for the star color and red as the second color.

I can't believe I'm starting #5 of nine.  I might actually finish a quilt in 2012! Yay! Oh wait..if I celebrate too soon, I'll jinx it. :o)

Things I'm thankful for today:

  • My allergic reaction/itchy spots are going away!! Hooray!
  • I'm thankful for my favorite little pirate who likes to sneak into my photos.
And then insist I take photos of him posing. 

  • I'm thankful for the message he left for me all by himself on his chalkboard after he saw that I'd left him one.  *real life swoon*  He said "I sounded it OUT Mommy!"  I love the spelling. HAPY VALnTiMe TOO MOMME.  It almost looks like one of those blogger comment verification codes. haha

  • I'm thankful that when I get in the car to drive it after my husband has driven it, I don't have to readjust the seat.  Even though he is 6" taller than me.   We've decided his super hero name would be "Torso-Man".  :o)

It's all about the little things! Hope everyone had a great weekend.

P.S. Not to sound like a broken record, but in case you missed it, Rebecca Lynne and I are having a giveaway together, a layer cake at each of our blogs.  You can enter at this post and then head to Rebecca's and enter at this post until February 25th. :o)
Friday, February 17, 2012

FNSI Swoon Edition

Aside from today being "Pirate Day" at preschool, it was also 

 ..along with the day my husband left on a 3-day work trip after being on vacation for a while.  Which means I am solely in charge of the pirate for the next 80 hours in a row. :o)

..which also means that FNSI results could be iffy. ;o)  BUT, my favorite pirate was very well behaved, and I was able to complete my goal of one FNSI Swoon before midnight.  And since he's sleeping like an angel, I'm going to blog about it now, in case I don't have time tomorrow.


Messy kitchen table:

Made the SAME cutting error--ugh, see excuse reason later in post:
..but managed to patch this one together, too. Someone commented on my last post about "if someone on a galloping horse can't see it" .. which made me feel a lot better. :o)

Ha! Lame attempt at "artsy" photo:

Photo for Flickr pool:

Wow, I could really use some photography lessons!  I really admire all of you out there that take such great photos.  

So even though I've screwed up the cutting TWICE now, I still love this pattern.  It would be really fun to make a scrappy one some day.

I'd like to blame my cutting errors on the fact that I'm taking a medication right now that "may make you drowsy".  Don't they all say that?  Anyway, it's true confession time.  I'm taking it to combat the mother of all allergic reactions that I developed last weekend after apparently being allergic to some new vitamins I was taking.  Well, I'm not allergic to vitamins of course, but I may or may not be allergic to whatever is in the vitamins that shapes them into gummy animals with fruity flavors.  That's right.  I had to admit to my Dr. that I was taking gummy bear vitamins.  Yah.. I'm mature. LOL  ???  Anyway, that's the back story to the reason I am blaming all of my Swoon cutting errors on one tiny white pill that allows me to function throughout the day without my skin itching so bad I want to jump into a pool of acid! 

Anyway, if you're new to my blog, sorry for the over-sharing.  It happens sometimes. :o)

Here are the three I have done so far.  Just hanging over the back of the couch.  The Mary Englebreit fabrics are so happy, I'm looking forward to #4 which will have some red in it.
Really lacking good pic taking skills!

I'm looking forward to checking out all of the FNSI links this weekend.  It's a 3-day weekend here in the U.S.  Hooray!

Oh, don't forget about the giveaway that Rebecca and I have going on right now. Two layer cakes, one at each of our blogs.  You can enter here and here, four chances at each place. We will pick the winners on Feb. 25th.

Have a great weekend!
Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Swoon #2, and a GIVEAWAY!!!!

**If you're not interested in the Swoon update, be sure to scroll to the bottom and enter the giveaway! :o)

Oh, Swoon..

Well, I still love it, but it did have a few hiccups along the way. The biggest one was cutting one of the 3 7/8" squares into a 3 1/2" square.  Which is tragic if you're using a FQ pack for this quilt.  Because there is no room for error in the cutting.  It even says on the pattern to cut very carefully.  I thought I was.. woops.

I barely had enough of the selvage scrap edge to piece together a 3 7/8" square.

The 3 7/8" squares get sewn together to make 2 HST's so it actually effected two small sections of the block. 
If you look super close, there is a tiny sliver of the white selvage that you can see, but not enough to notice too bad.  It's all I could do to save it.  

That being said, I still love how it turned out.

Yep, still swooning for the swoon.
Gonna link up with Lee @ Freshly Pieced for W.I.P. Wednesday.

And now, finally we get to the fun giveaway part of the post!!!  Rebecca @ Making Rebecca Lynne and I made a pact before the start of the year to have a drama free 2012.  Last year was tough for us both with illnesses, family issues, deaths in the family, you name it.  So we got together, made a pact, and a blog button (two actually!) and have been planning to do a tandem giveaway on Valentine's Day. 

Since she has somewhere very important to be right now, and will be without her computer, we put our heads together and decided that I would post both giveaways on Thursday.  I will be guest posting her Thursday Think Tank for her while she's away and setting up her giveaway, too.  That way she will have something fun to look forward to when she gets home.  So after entering here, be sure to head over there to enter there too.  That way you will have multiple chances to win!! :o)  And who doesn't love to get FREE fabric in the mail?!

So here it honor of all things healthy, happy and drama free, you can win a layer cake of Little Apples by Aneela Hoey! :o)

A layer cake can be made into so many cool quilts.  I found this really neat pattern that can be made with a layer cake. You can find it at the FQS:
There are also lots of free patterns at the Moda Bake Shop!

Also, b/c it just seems appropriate for a drama free giveaway, you can win a little bonus prize to go with your layer cake.  A "peace, love, quilt" coaster from 

How to enter (you can have more than one entry if you choose):

1. This giveaway is for our followers.  So leave a comment to that effect, whether you are an existing follower or a new one.  If you are a new follower, Welcome!

2.  If you want to hop on the drama free band-wagon and have grabbed one of the drama free buttons from my sidebar, leave a separate comment telling me for an extra entry.

3.  If you want to share the giveaway with your friends and choose to blog about it, you get two extra entries.  (But don't feel obligated to do this, it is not a requirement.)

That's all you have to do. :o)  We will be drawing our winners on Saturday Feb. 25th.  I hope you'll enter.  The more the merrier.  Like I said, we've been looking forward to this for a long time.  And remember, after you enter here, head over to Making Rebecca Lynne and enter there, too.  All in all, there are two layer cakes, each with a little bonus prize up for grabs.  :o)

Good Luck!!

Monday, February 13, 2012

My FIRST Swoon is done! :o)

It worked, it worked!  I have a Swoon block completed, and without any major complications!  AND.. in spite of the cutting involved, it was so much fun to put together.    Of course, whether all nine of them turn out the same size so that I can piece them together remains to be seen. ;o)

It turned out to be a pretty productive weekend.  I finished all of the background cutting and labeled the stacks.  Then cut my focus fabrics and laid them out like the pattern suggested.

Then there are really only two units to make, that then get sewn into rows with the center square.


And Voila!  It really is worthy of it's name.  I love it and can't wait to make more.

And on top of that, I whipped up this pillow case this morning for A. to bring to one of his school mates who is recovering from having his adenoids and tonsils out.  We dropped it off this afternoon.  I really hope he loves it.

I'm happy to say it is made from scraps that I had already.  Bananas from my son's sock monkey quilt, a random fat quarter, and a skinny scrap of orange.  :o)  I hadn't made a pillow case in quite a while.  I think I have the bug again!  They are so much fun, and such a happy thing to make.  

Oh, and before I forget.. be sure to drop by on Thursday.  I will be guest-blogging at Rebecca Lynne's Thursday Think Tank, and also announcing our tandem giveaway, in honor of a drama-free, all things healthy and happy 2012.  We will each be giving away a Little Apples layer cake, so if you enter at both of our blogs you will have double the chances of winning one. :o)  I will post all about it on Thursday.

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