Monday, September 29, 2008

fleece blankets

On Friday, Tamsin (Scott's sister) called and asked if I wanted to make humanitarian blankets together.  Karine (Scott's other sister) had taken Kai for the afternoon, and Jerome and Asha were going to ride the bus to join them, so I had the whole afternoon with just Quinn.  I jumped on the chance for some creative time with her.   We went to Joann's and took advantage of the 50% off fleece sale.  We chose a pattern for one side and solid for the other.  Their selection was a lot better than I remembered, and we had no problem coming up with cute combos.  Once we were back at our house, Dave (Tamsin's husband) and Scott with the kids joined us and helped tie the two sides together.  They turned out very, very cute.  Thank you, Tamsin, for a fun evening!    

Here is Asha with her teacher, Miss Degrogroio at back to school night.  Asha has loved all her teachers, and Miss Degrogroio is no exception.    

I was all sad to put away the cute summer tops Kai wore in the summer, and bummed that I didn't find very many long sleeve shirts from Jerome's bin... until I thought to buy some plain white long sleeve t-shirts for a layered look.  Old Navy had them for $5 a piece, and now Kai can keep wearing his cute polos and we are set for fall/winter.  I don't know why I didn't think of it earlier.  

Friday, September 26, 2008

Whirlygiggles started

The Christmas quilt is ready to be machine quilted.  I want to do free motion quilting on my machine (nice tutorial here by Amandajean), but I don't know if I trust myself with it quite yet.  I haven't done it in a while.  I have too much of me invested into that quilt and I don't thin I can take it if anything goes wrong.  I decided I need some practice.    

I started one from my ever growing list of quilts I want to make.  It is called Whirlygiggles.  After you see Jacquie's two quilts, this and this, and Michelle's quilt you just have to make one of your own.  Michelle's tutorial is here.  So far, I have made two each of these six in the picture.  I feel something is missing, but can't put my finger on it.   
I got my first haircut here, and I just love it!  I feel so light and pretty.  I always worry about finding the right person to cut my hair when I move to a new city.  I have had haircuts that looked great at the salon, but turned me into a lion or a mushroom when I tried to style it.  My hair is thick and coarse with big waves.  Perfect if I was a Polynesian dancer and I could grow it down to my waist, but since I am a mom with limited time in the morning, I am looking for something easy and light.  Shari was great.  She knew exactly what to do.  She put good amount of layers in, and also thinned it towards the bottom.  At $22 for a hair cut, I might be able to go back more often than every six months.        

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Library bags

I have two simple projects to show you today.

Library bags for Jerome and Asha.  We used to use the laundry basket, believe it or not, but now that kids want to be in different sections of the library, these bags will work much better.  I went back to Walmart for the aqua fabric ($1/yard), but they were out.  I got plain canvas instead, and I like how they turned out.  I could use them as echo bags too.      

Here is Kai holding the bag, so you know how big they are.  The pockets are for the receipt they print out for you.   

Bibs for boys.  My brother Takuya and wife Sarah in Hawaii had a precious baby boy this summer.  They named him Kenji.  He is grandchild #13 for the Ohki family.  Now we are looking forward to the baby boy of  Brother Yu and Jamiee in Utah, due December.     

Quinn is our champion at using sippy cups and straws.  He has been since 9 months.  Our pediatrician told me at his 6 month appointment to start giving him breast milk in a cup once a day.  It was a pain to have to pump and he lost most of it to his bib at the beginning, but I kept doing it.  I wonder if that is why he is much better at it than our other kids.   

Saturday, September 13, 2008


I lived in Pittsburgh before San Diego.  My church friends there just made an online recipe book.  I am having so much fun as I find names of some of my favorite people, and their yummy dishes.  It brings back many great memories.  My favorites are memories of Kai's birth and having a precious newborn at home.  I had lost a lot of blood from the c-section and was having a harder time bouncing back.  Nursing wasn't going very well yet.  My friends took turns and brought dinner every other day for two weeks.  I looked forward to the home cooked meals and the nice visit.  My mom enjoyed trying new food and she really liked the extra time she got to enjoy the baby.  Everything was delicious.  My friends were great cooks.  And now I have all the recipes.  Try Kelly's enchiladas.  I just made it again yesterday.  So good.        

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Christmas Quilt back, check

Most of the leftover fabric from the front was incorporated in the back.  It looks like a swatch board, and I really like the effect.  Basting and quilting to follow.      

I just got this yesterday from Pink Chalk Studio.  It is a Kona Cotton Solids Swatch set.  If you are like me and rely mostly on internet shops for fabric shopping, this set would be very handy.  

We went to the fair last weekend.  The kids had a great time seeing all the animals, Lego creations, and art work.  Scott is excited about a possible purchase of a whole pig for his future BBQ adventures.  But it was just OK for me.  The quilting and sewing section was not as inspiring as I had hoped for.  In the past, I had been blown away from the creative color combination, or have been overwhelmed by the detailed work.  Not this time.  I wonder if people are content showing their work in their blogs, and don't bother entering it to the fair any more.  So, to make the next fair more enjoyable FOR ME, I decided to enter something I made.  It could be a quilt or a couple bibs depending on how the Christmas projects go, but I am hoping it will be fun.               
Here is a birthday cake Scott's Aunt Trisha made for one of the family birthday parties.  I want to be able to make cakes like this when I grow up.   

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Canning Tomatoes

Scott's parents are in England for two weeks, and while they are gone, they are letting us harvest their amazing garden.  We have been eating fresh tomatoes, zucchinis, and back berries everyday.   

Today I put myself through a refresher course on canning, and bottled 14 quarts of tomatoes.  It was a lot of work and I was no good afterwards because I was just so tired.  I am wondering how I bottled 50 quarts of peaches and pears that one year when I was 8 months pregnant with Asha.  Jerome was two.  Am I just old now?  

Kai fell asleep, again.  We called for dinner and he didn't show up.  

Monday, September 8, 2008

Christmas quilt top, check

It wasn't all smooth sailing, but it is done!  I realized, half way through, that I didn't have enough of the light blue for sashing.  I jumped in the car with the little boys and went to the downtown fabric store for more.  Washing, drying, ironing, and cutting followed immediately, but only to find out that I got the wrong fabric.  Correct color, but wrong pattern.  That just killed my momentum and I was feeling all limp and discouraged when Scott came home for lunch.  He knows how important being creative is to me, and offered to watched the boys while I ran back to the store for the correct fabric.  I was back in no time, all pumped up again, and finished the top soon after.  Scott is such a supportive husband.  

A few more pictures of the house.  This time it is the kitchen.  Scott and I have always wanted a big eat-in kitchen, and that is what we got.  We have had houses with formal dining rooms, but we never ate there.  It always turned into a sewing/homework space.  

After an exciting playdate with his cousin, Kai was tired and fell asleep on the barstool.  You can see Quinn reaching for the cracker Kai is about to drop.    

The door by the dining table leads out to the side deck, which wraps around to the front.  


 If you can't find Scott in the house, you can find him in front of his grill.  I gave it to him one Christmas, and he says it was his favorite gift ever, closely followed by Flip which he got last year.   

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Oven Mitts

I got the sample mitts made for my class.  I picked fabric to match my kitchen, but then realized that I wouldn't be able to use them until the class is over in November.  Oh well.  Tamsin said she can bring hers to show, too, so I am hoping lots of people will sign up to come sew with me.   
The army green fabric is from Amy Butler's Belle.  The blue is from Walmart markdown.  I think it was $1/yard.  It is rougher and thicker than the quilting fabric, but I really like the pattern.  I am going to get more for a library bag if they still have it.   

This is what I had for lunch.  Spinach, fig, prosciutto, and fetta cheese salad.  Salt, pepper, a squeeze of lemon juice, and some olive oil, and it is just delicious.  Pretty filling for a salad, too.     

This is what Kai accomplished while I was sewing... a long line of cars on the ironing board.  "Are you going to blog about it?" he asked with a proud smile, so I couldn't help taking a picture.       

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

In the Groove

The Christmas quilt is mostly cut out, and I started to sew some pieces together.  The cutting is my least favorite part of sewing, so I feel like the quilt is mostly finished.  It is looking just as pretty as I had imagined, and I am having a lot of fun with it.            

Here is a close up picture of the part I started sewing.  I love how the small red blocks pop in the corners.   

I didn't want to spend $13 for the pattern, so I drew up my own.  As it is usually the case with things like this, it probably wasn't worth the time I spent on it.  At least it was fun.  I also got Jerome's attention.  He liked all the shapes and calculations I was doing, and thought I was really smart.  That was worth it.      

Here is a picture of Quinn for my mom.  He is ten months old now.  He pulls things off the table, opens drawers and cabinets for treasures, and loves to eat crumbs off the floor.  He routinely checks the bathrooms just to see if anyone had left the toilet lid open.  He gets lucky about once a week, which is enough to keep him coming back.  He also loves any cuddling up he can get from his siblings, and lives for any smiles he can get out of them.   

His hair is still quite a bit lighter in color than his siblings as you can see in the second picture.  

Well, that is it for now.