Saturday, December 5

A Severe Weather Alert for the People of Nashville

The Weather Channel app on my iPhone alerts me when there are severe weather circumstances, such as tornados, floods, storms, etc.
Or tonight, cold weather. Yes, the temperature could get down into the 20's and they feel the need to warn the people of Nashville.
And I quote:
"Unseasonably cold low temperatures expected tonight as a strong surface ridge builds across middle Tennessee tonight. Overnight lows will be 10 to 15 degrees colder than normal. Other than a few passing clouds, skies will be clear enough for temperatures to drop to around 20 degrees in most locations, and into the upper teens across the Cumberland plateau region. Winds are expected to become calm as the night progresses. Wind chill, the apparent temperature felt on exposed skin due to the wind, which in situations where the wind speeds are 5 to 10 MPH or even greater, can make it feel several degrees cooler than the actual air temperature, will not be a major factor tonight.
However, with the coldest temperatures of the season so far expected tonight, the following safety rules still apply if you plan to be outside for any period of time. Dress warmly and stay dry; this includes wearing a hat, a scarf or knit mask to cover face and mouth, sleeves that are snug at the wrist, mittens-they are warmer than gloves, water-resistant coat and boots, and several layers of loose-fitting clothing.
Do not ignore shivering, it is an important first sign that the body is loosing heat. Persistent shivering is a signal to return indoors. By observing the above safety rules, you have a good chance of avoiding the affects [sic] of hypothermia and frostbite.
Hypothermia, the result of an abnormally low body temperature, can happen with prolonged exposure to the cold. It happens when your body beings to lose heat faster than it can be produced, and prolonged exposure to the cold will eventually use up your body's stored energy. What makes hypothermia particularly dangerous is that when the bodies [sic] temperature gets too low, the brain is affected, making the person unable to think clearly or move well, and the person may not know what is happening and will not be able to do anything about it.
Frostbite is an injury to the body that is caused by freezing. Frostbite causes a loss of feeling and color in affected areas. It most often affects the nose, ears, cheeks, chin, fingers, or toes. Frostbite can permanently damage the body, and severe cases can lead to amputation. The risk of frostbite is increased in people with reduced blood circulation and among people who are not dressed properly for extremely cold temperatures.
When traveling, remember the following safety rules. Check and restock the winter emergency supplies in your car before you leave. Do not rely on a car to provide sufficient heat, the car may break down. Always carry additional warm clothing appropriate for the winter conditions."
I've never seen something so ridiculous, are these warnings really necessary? Last night there was a warning that Nashville may get 1 inch of snow. One inch of snow!? My parents just got 10 inches overnight in West Michigan and no one batted an eye. There are only two states between us, but I can't believe the mystique surrounding snow down here. 
Curt had hoped to get away from the cold weather when we moved down here, but it looks like this winter may be a chilly one for Nashville and we'll just have to suffer the cold temperatures without the joy of a white Christmas.
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Wednesday, December 2

these are a few of my favorite things

The week before Thanksgiving I spent all my free time making quilts and baby accessories. I had two orders and two sets to make for my family to gift. So I set to work, didn't go to bed for a couple nights, sewed and stitched and quilted until my fingers could take no more. When all was said and done, I decided to make one more quilt for my cousin who is having a baby girl any day now.

So without further ado-

This quilt was made to order for my friend Lyndsie. Her friend is having a baby girl and the nursery will be pink and purple flowers and butterflies. There is also a touch of lime green in the mix, and when I found these fabrics, I just knew it would be perfect.
I went with a disappearing 9-patch design. It's always fun to see the different layouts this pattern will make. With this one, I decided to make all the 9-patches the same, with the purple flowers as the corner pieces and the green in the center.

The back is this cute flannel flower print that I had in my stash. When I looked at the registry, I instantly thought of this flannel and knew it would match perfectly.*

The binding is this perfect stripe fabric. All the right pinks, purples, and lime green, with a little brown that will match the rest of their nursery set.

Along with the quilt I made a whole set of matching accessories. This is my favorite part - burp cloths, bibs, a tag-along blankie, onesies, and fabric cubes.

A closer look at the fabric cubes.. I made these on a whim for my sister's last set, and everyone loves them! I never knew they would catch on, but I have to admit, they really are adorable. I made these a little smaller, somewhere in the range of 1.5" squares, perfect for little girl fingers.

Here are the onesies- the green one is just a circle cut from the fabric, the pink is a cute butterfly. I love how both of these turned out, and I love a cute, simple onesie to throw under a little sweater or zip-up. Or pair them with a little skirt- instant outfit!
I love the way this set turned out and so did Lyndsie, I hope her friends do too!

This quilt I made for my cousin Sarah out of my scrap pile. I knew I had to go all out with the pinks, but I wanted to throw in a little yellow and green for a nice pop of color. Sarah is having her first girl after three boys, so we are all excited for some pink in their lives!

The quilt is a mix of pink and white solids, the pink dots and green are from Lyndsie's quilt, yellow from the quilt below, plus some Amy Butler, Heather Bailey, and some other random pieces. I cute 5.5" squares and then just laid them out randomly. I tried to make sure the colors were evenly spaced, but I love the random nature and freedom in making this quilt. I will definitely be making more of these patchwork square quilts, they are quite classic yet modern with the choice of fabric and colors. And I love the mix of solids and prints.
The binding is an Amy Butler Midwest Modern wavy stripe. Have I ever mentioned how much I love stripes for borders? Well, I do.

The back was another flannel from my stash, and a perfect match- pink and green flowers. I can't wait until there is a little girly bundle of joy to cuddle under this quilt, and I know Sarah is very anxious to finally meet her too!

The next quilt was commissioned by my dad for a co-worker.
They are doing a brightly colored jungle theme nursery, but I didn't want to over-do-it with jungle fabrics so I decided on semi-solid colors. And I've been dying to try a zig zag quilt, so this was the perfect opportunity.
The quilt is made with half-square triangles using a white cotton sateen. The colors have little prints and details- the top blue has tiny flowers, the green is a stripe, the orange is small dots (I think), and the bottom blue has little white and yellow dots. I love these colors together and the zig zag wasn't as hard as I imagined it to be.

I did have to go for a jungle print on the back to keep it a little in theme, and I just love those animals!

The binding is a yellow stripe, same as the green, just in a different color. I love both those fabrics!
The baby's mom also ordered a set of blocks with his name -Arjun- appliqued on them. There are also numbers and shapes on the other sides. I threw in a different blue with white dots to make a different print on each side of the cubes.

I also made two burp cloths, four bibs, and two pairs of shoes for baby Arjun. I love how all of these coordinate but look so cute individually.

They had their baby shower at work today and the mommy-to-be loved everything, but the blocks especially, my dad said. My dad's co-workers also loved the set, so a big shout out to any of you who have found my blog via my dad. HI Meijer corporate employees - now get back to work.

Not featured today is a set I made for my sister's friend, which makes me quite mad. I think she took it back to school with her before I could snap some photos. I'll have to talk her into taking a few so I can post them. It's also a jungle theme, but in totally different colors and I love the way it turned out. Sage greens and yellows with a pop of burnt orange- I wasn't crazy about it at first, but it turned out to be my favorite quilt in the end. I also made some burp cloths, bibs and shoes for her. I hope the mommy likes them all as much as I do.

I have so much fun making custom sets for people, if you are interested, please email me at brittneydanderson [at] gmail [dot] com.

To end- a picture of some of the ladies in my family, after our long day of shopping. My sister and I went early Friday morning to snag deals at Old Navy, Target, and Joann's. Saturday morning started early with breakfast at Cracker Barrel with all these lovely ladies. It's a long-lasting tradition that is followed by all-day shopping and a sleep over. This picture is after shopping, before sleeping, hence the PJs and tired smiles.

*Friday morning I stocked up on flannel from Joann's for $1.50/yd! I like to stock up when it's cheap like that and save it for baby quilts. I was able to use stash flannel on 3 of the 4 quilts I just made, which makes me so happy. When shopping, I look for basic color schemes and patterns, like jungle themes for boys, flowers for girls, or cute dots for gender neutral quilts. The flannel is wide enough to fit most of my baby quilts without piecing and 2 yards generally gives me enough for the quilt back plus bibs, burp cloths, shoes and a tag along blankie.

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Thursday, November 26


We had a successful Thanksgiving today:
*Slept in
*Ate giant cinnamon rolls for breakfast
*Went to my Aunt Dianne's house for turkey
*Ate two types of turkey, along with Aunt Pam's cucumbers, Uncle Doug's Snickers salad, green beans, stuffing, and at least four kinds of mashed potatoes. Plus a ton of other stuff.
*Found out exciting news that TWO of my cousins are pregnant, while a third was experiencing contractions right there at the dinner table.
*Opened secret pal gifts
*Gifted baby gifts for the baby that is probably being delivered any minute now
*Gifted squirrel mittens to my Grandma
*Went to my Aunt Beth's house for dessert
*Someone forgot pumpkin pie, but we brought a giant peanut butter cup pie that everyone enjoyed along with three other kinds of pie
*Gifted owl mittens to my other Grandma
*Ate a little bit more food and dessert
*Played Scrabble with a cheating 9 year old, then some frog phonics game. I won.. I think.
*Stopped at Redbox on the way home for a free movie (The Proposal - we wanted My Sister's Keeper but it was checked out everywhere)
*Watched the movie with homemade popcorn and the whole family plus my sister's ex (haha)
*Watched UP next
*Planned our shopping for Friday morning
Which brings us to present time- my sister and I are waking up in a couple hours to hit Old Navy, Target, and Joann's. We must be insane. But we have fun.

A quick picture from the day:

I counted 34 people in the picture. These are all the grandkids (minus 2) and all the great-grandkids (I think they are all in there) plus three more great-grandkids in bellies. With our Grandma/Gaga/Nana squeezed in the middle there.

Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Now for some sweet shopping dreams...

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Thursday, November 12

Caped Crusader

I've got an urge to make a cape. Not like a superhero cape, more like a capelet or a cloak. Something warm for these fall months (it's still in the 70's here in Nashville, but it's bound to get cooler), fashionable, not too bulky, and a neutral color.

I'm not exactly sure what bit my capelet bug, but I think it started here.

This tutorial from Ruffles & Stuff for a no-sew cape. Disney makes awesome stuff and this little fleece cape is so cute. I started to envision it on a larger scale for myself...

Then Disney made this beauty.

And wrote up a little tutorial .. She was inspired by Blair Waldorf, and I do love me some Gossip Girl fashion. I must have one of my own ...

So I started searching-

Gap is doing it.

Old Navy is doing it.

Burberry is sooo doing it.

This National Geographic clothing distributor(what!?) is kind of doing it.

American Apparel is doing it with fleece, which is probably how I will end up doing it.

Burda is even doing it without pants.. 
if it's cold enough to wear a cape, it's too cold to wear spandex, just saying.

I love everything about the Burberry cape- the neck, the big buttons, the arm slits. How hard can it be to make a cape? Just fold a big piece of fabric in quarters and cut in a circular shape. Cut up to the middle, cut a circle, sew on a neck... right? Right? Please tell me I'm not totally underestimating this project.

In case I am, there are always patterns to fall back on, but I'm not really a pattern kind of girl.

Obviously it looks fabulous in a wool blend, but I'm cheap and not really up to sewing with wool right now, so I will probably make due with fleece. Maybe fleece lined with a nice satin or soft cotton for some contrast? I like that about the Burda one.. that little pink poking out of the pockets is just so cute.

I need to go to the fabric store soon anyway, I think I will peruse the fleece selection and see if there is anything cute enough to make a cape.

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Shopping Spree

Have you ever played on Polyvore? It's a fun waste of time but also a great source of inspiration. I wish the controls were more user-friendly and customizable, but beggars can't be choosers.

Here's a couple outfits I threw together. I would love to wear any of these clothes and accessories.
Mellow Yellow

Librarian chic

Clearly I have a thing for dark wash jeans and cute flats. And simple outfits with fabulous accessories.

My closet is bursting with flats, but I still feel the need for more. I don't think I will be satisfied until I have a pair in every color. And I do not have flats in either of these lovely yellow or pea green colors. Well, I do have a pair that is grey with yellow polka dots, but I don't think that counts. And would you look at those bows?! I girl can never have too many frilly things.

So... who will loan me their credit cards?

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Wednesday, November 11

Karma is ...

I swear I've been crafting, I swear. I just have no photographic evidence to share with you. But I still felt the need to blog a bit about life. And I guess when I say blog a bit, I mean bitch a lot. Because life, like karma,  has been a bitch this past week.

Last Wednesday I got a call from Curt's boss saying he wasn't feeling well and could I please pick him up... it was 6:30 in the morning and we live about 45 minutes from his work. So I talked to Curt to get the whole scoop. Seems he stretched and pulled a muscle in his neck. He couldn't move it and was in a lot of pain, but he decided to drive himself home. I ended up getting out of work so I could drive him around town to interview guitar players for the band later in the day. We did the same thing after my shift on Thursday.

I made fun of his lack of neck function the whole time. He had to turn his whole body to look to either side, and it was just too cute not to laugh about. Let it be known that I would not make fun of him if he was seriously injured, but I knew he would survive, so the jokes ensued.

Enter my neck injury.

Yesterday while driving to meet Curt and the rest of the band for rehearsal and errands, I was rear-ended. I was turning left {coincidentally onto the wrong street} when I heard screeching brakes behind me. I looked into the rearview mirror just in time to see a pick up truck swerving to the right to [try to] avoid me. *cRaSh* there goes my car. I was able to drive to a nearby parking lot to examine the damage. The truck's front end was smashed into the front left wheel so he was stuck there on the side of the road. Police were called and a very friendly Captain Hill of Berry Hill gave the guy a ticket and made sure I didn't need an ambulance.

Damn it all.

I've been successfully driving that car for 4 years and then some idiot comes out of no where, not paying attention, and totally wrecks it. Who knows what insurance will say, whether we will be able to have the car fixed or if we will need to buy a new one. {We really, really, can't buy a new car right now.} Thankfully the guy swerved, but he took out my back right side, rearranging the bumper and making the tail light disappear.

I now have limited use of my neck, looking right is just not a possibility. So thank you karma, for being such a pain in my neck. Pun intended, obviously.

In completely unrelated news ... The Hills has got me really worried. What if Spencer & Heidi actually do reproduce? The publicity stunts, the drama, the eventual demon spawn of Spencer... it's just too crazy. Almost as crazy as that Jayde girl Brody is doing - what is her problem?! That girl needs some serious medication. And how much work has she had done? Her face looks like the Barbie lady, and I'm sure she chose her cup size.
Also, I think it's funny they use Superchick music for the preview of next week's episode.

Tomorrow I go back to work lifting heavy trays to deliver endless soup and salad refills. Neck, don't fail me now.

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Thursday, November 5


We didn't do anything special for Halloween. We went over to a friend's house for a nice dinner and played Toy Story on Wii. They put candy out on the porch and it was gone after three or four groups of trick or treaters. Darn teenagers.

I loved seeing all the creative costumes on the blogosphere, but this one was the best:

A mutant three-armed baby! It's just genius. Get more details here.

I can't wait until we have kids and can do crazy things like that.

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Thursday, October 29

The Inevitable

The inevitable happened: I labeled all the scissors in our house.

I walked into Curt's office the other day to find my fabric scissors on his desk. He swore he didn't use them, that he was just "carrying them around" (right....) but I wasn't about to take any chances. I rescued my scissors and proceeded to label all the other ones too, just so there is no question. I know it sounds a little kooky, but I like to keep my scissors separate. The truth is, there are three more pairs of scissors in the house- kitchen scissors, my hair cutting scissors, and a thread snipper. But those are obvious and shouldn't need labels. Yet.

Awhile ago I got a couple autumnal charm packs and I finally turned them into completed table runners for my mom and MIL. I made both of these out of one Moda Gobble Gobble charm pack, and I love the fabrics so much! They are fall colors without ugly fall images, rather, cute pumpkins, flowers, and doodles with plenty of stripes and dots.

These were quick to piece together, just rows set on an angle. I free motion quilted them with brown thread, the backs are just tan muslin or something, and the binding is a different tan color.

In knitting news, I've been wanting to knit a pair of the squirrel mittens since I first saw them and finally got around to it. I don't want to say my grandma is a crazy squirrel lady, but she names her neighborhood squirrels (and can identify them) and feeds them peanuts. They have become so comfortable with her that some will even take peanuts from her hand. We discourage her from this, of course, but she doesn't seem concerned.

I knew these mittens would be perfect for my grandma, an homage to all the squirrels that became roadkill she has lost.

I opted to make two squirrels and ditch the oak leaf motif on the original pattern. The palms are according to the pattern, although I kind of messed one of the thumbs. Grandma will never know.

I hope they fit, because like many people commented, they are very small! I have small hands and they fit me comfortably, I'm assuming my grandma can't have hands much larger than mine. I used Knit Picks Wool of the Andes in Snickerdoodle and Fairy Tale. This was my first time knitting with WOTA and I'm not sure how I feel about it. The price is right, it's not too itchy, but it has that wooly smell. I'm working on another pair of mittens with a different color and they are very itchy, I'm planning to line those with fleece. 
Here's my Ravelry link.

I also finished my Recession Hat. This was made out of scraps I had on hand, tiny balls left over from socks and other projects. Most of the yarns are Knit Picks Palette. I just held two colors, knitting every other stitch, for any random number of rows, blending the colors together by switching one color at a time. I love the way this turned out, it's a nice little beanie, perfect for fall weather.

Best of all it didn't cost a dime and used up some of my stash!
Here's my Ravelry link.

With the turn of the season came changing quits out. This is the first quilt I ever made and it has a very fall color scheme. And a new quilt means new pillow cases. I love making pillow cases because they are like mini quilts with a purpose.

I made Finn pose for this picture. I love his face, like- "Okay, do you have the picture? I have bones to chew." He left the couch immediately after I took this picture.

I made the patchwork pillow following this tutorial. Very easy, perfect corners, and a fun way to use up even the tiniest scraps.

I free motion quilted the top with grey thread.

The back is a recycled t-shirt, I just used the bottom hem so there was no extra sewing to do. Envelope pockets are my new best friend, quick, easy, and I love being able to rotate my pillow cases.

This pillow is 16X16.

The reverse side of the crocheted pillow is:

Granny squares! I wanted to give them a try with some stash yarn. When I put them all together I realized it would kind of match the other pillow and quilt. The other side is in the picture up top there, that's just one giant granny square stitched up around a pillow. I like this pillow because it's very kitschy in the so-ugly-it's-cool kind of way. Curt thinks it's just plain ugly, but it will be out by the time Christmas comes around and he will forget about it ... until next fall when I pull it out again.

We had some visitors from Canada the other morning.

This was the first time I saw geese on the golf course (aka backyard). If it was actually a backyard, I might be mad, but they were just so cute wobbling around on a rainy day. You can also see the start of colors changing on some of the trees. All the trees are catching up to that gorgeous red one, I'll be sure to take some more pictures when they get there.

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Thursday, October 15

a family affair

I'm finally getting around to posting pictures from the wedding we attended in Michigan a couple weeks ago. The bride was my cousin Sara, she'd been dating Brad for a long time and I was so excited we could make it up to Michigan to celebrate with them and the rest of our family. 

Sara & Brad with my Aunt Robin & Uncle Larry

Dad, Mom, Bri, Me, & Curt. We got new dresses for the occasion!

Most of the Wilson clan, minus quite a few grandkids. 

My sister & me .. we took about 20 photos trying to get a good one of both of us, 
this is the best we could manage.

There was plenty of dancing - the Wilsons know how to get down! 

These people are not family - but they were those kind of dancers.. you know the ones- homely man with his pretty date, first on the floor, outrageous moves, boogie the night away. There's a pair at every party and these two were just too good to pass on a sneaky picture. 
I mean, would you look at his form?! 

We all had a great time, ate yummy pie (the bride doesn't like cake), wore ourselves out dancing, and enjoyed spending time with family. 

I've been working on a few small projects and will have to take pictures tomorrow if the weather cooperates. It has been raining for a couple weeks here in Nashville and the temperatures drop every day. I made cheesy broccoli soup the other day because it was just a soup kind of day. Today was a chili kind of day, but I'm not really in the mood for chili.. time to search for recipes. 
What's your favorite fall dinner? 

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