Category Archives: Family

Shop Small This Weekend

Hello everybody. If you’re in the USA I hope you had a great Thanksgiving. My husband and I got to host this year. We worked together to clean the house and cook turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, salad, carrots, corn, potato casserole, and pumpkin pies. His mom brought some homemade bread which rounded out our nice spread. Yum! Here’s a picture of my brother-in-law loading his plate.

joethanks15

Now that everybody’s onto eating pie for breakfast and looking up recipes for leftover turkey it’s time to turn our attention to holiday shopping. I’d like to encourage you to shop small businesses this year. I’ll be featuring some of my favorite small businesses today through Cyber Monday on the quiltartbymegan Facebook Page. “Like” and follow me over there to learn about great entrepreneurs and to shop their deals.

Of course, there are some great deals in my etsy shop too. Everything in there is now 30% off. You don’t need a coupon code as I’ve adjusted each price individually to reflect the sale. Easy peasy!

shopsmall

Studio’s Move-in Ready… Sorta

We finished up my art studio a few days ago. Woohoo!

Floor's done in studio and fan too

The bamboo flooring install was quite an involved project. Took my husband and I three hours to prep and eight to put it in. What a lesson in teamwork! Trim, ceiling fan, closet doors, and outlet covers were added and the room’s officially finished.
installing wood floor in studioI’m moving my wall of shelves and boxes of fabric and stuff in. The desk and tables will have to wait until the master bedroom’s floor is done. We’ll clear that room to work on it, including putting the dressers in the living room and our bed in the studio. Then I can really fer-reals have an art studio of my very own. 🙂

Do you have any tips or suggestions on organization? I’d love to hear them as I set up my space.

 

Linking up with Thankful Thursday.

Just Add Support

Our brand new bathroom counter cracked. I heard it from the kitchen and came running. My husband was leaning against the side of the counter while installing the hand-towel holder and it gave out.
new sink cracked

How did this happen? Can you see the gap between the counter and the wooden cabinet? That’s the problem right there. There’s no support. The store exchanged the broken bits for a whole and we started over. This time my husband cut some wood and glued/nailed it to the inside of the vanity.  It was a design flaw. The sink needed more support.
sink design flawWe all need extra support sometimes. My quilting buddies are helping me with these place mats. They’re cool, huh? The conversation’s ranged from confidence to marketing with many ideas that are new to me. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

set of 6 bright crumbs placemats
Our bathroom looks much better now. The counter cracking was a bummer but I’m glad it happened when it did. We got it exchanged and added supports and can be confident it’s sturdy as well as pretty. bathroom before after
It’s kitty approved. 🙂

Velcro on sink

 

 

Tiny Roller to the Rescue

Paint’s drying in my new studio as I speak. I used a brush and the tiny roller in this photo on the door jam. The ceiling, walls, trim and closet doors (on the floor) were all sprayed. The room’s so shiny and white now!
tiny roller painting

Next up is removing the tiles and installing the ceiling fan. We’ll also put the covers back on the outlets and replace the doorknob. Hardwood flooring and a window are on order and should be here in the next week or two. It’ll be move-in day before you know it!

Our other big project this week was making and canning soup. Two large pots of turkey, vegetables, spices and pasta made for fifteen quarts of soup. All of the lids popped so they’re sealed for the pantry. I loooove my husband’s soup recipe. Now it’s easy to open a jar and have some anytime I want.turkey noodle soups 15

Canning soup is cheap too. The lids and ingredients for this amount comes out to around $28. I’m not including the cost of the jars and bands because they’re an initial expense but will last forever. We get about 3 servings out of each quart. Price per serving is $0.62…. and this tastes much better than any canned soup at the store. Win!

What projects are you working on?

 

 

Linking up to Thankful Thursday and Let’s Bee Social and Can I Get a Whoop Whoop.

Artist. Not just a quilt artist.

I remember my purple bedroom with the hollowed-out-closet turned art studio. It was AWESOME! At five, this was waaaay better than a trip to Disney. I sat in there for hours at my little desk coloring, drawing, stamping, creating. I had to get permission for messy stuff like glue, paint, and clay but my parents made sure that I got to use them sometimes too.

My husband and I are getting an art studio ready for me in this house. It’s a bedroom that was a storage room. The things that were in there have sorted, organized, and put in their proper places so now it’s empty and ready for sprucing up. Yes, the row of shelving stays. I get to fill it up with fabric!

studio before 1We got rid of the smelly carpet, threadbare curtains, and popcorn ceiling treatment. The weird shape on the window is from the brown packaging tape holding it together. It’ll need to be replaced. We got rid of the 7The first things accomplished getting rid of the carpet, tossing the curtains, and scraping the popcorn treatment off the ceiling.

my studio minus carpet curtains and popcorn ceilingI had a circus party in the closet studio house. The invitations were tickets I made. I painted our windows (half dish soap, and half paint) with balloons, clowns, and animals. We made a train down to the basement playroom. Hands on the shoulders of the kid in front of you. No pushing! There was a face-painting station and a cake with a train on it. Such fun!

At 31, I can still taste being five years old. So I’ve decided to play! I’m joining a meet-up for art journalling in my area. My first meeting is this Friday morning. I’m hoping to make friends and to play. Not to make anything specific or become a world-famous collage maker or painter, but to play with other artists.

cupcakes and lollipops journal pageHere’s the first page of my art journal. I stamped the background with bubble wrap, painted with cherry syrup, glued ribbon, brushed glitter nail polish on, and added the lettering. Who says you can’t create without art supplies? I knew what I wanted to say and made do with what I had. 🙂 I will be picking up a tray of kids’ watercolors from the dollar store before my meeting though. 🙂

 

Linking up to Val’s sewing room link party. Check it out if you want some ideas for your studio.

 

Guest Blogger Jim – I Was Never Alone

Today’s blog post is written by my brother Jim. Our Mom died a few days after he was born and my brother, sister, and I have all had to deal with abandonment issues in one form or another. Here’s part of Jim’s story in his own words.

*** Photo captions are available below Jim’s words. I didn’t want to interrupt.***


BabyJim1Hi, my name is Jim Masten. When I was born I did not know this, but my mother was sick until five days after I was born, when she died.

MomSunbonnetSueTo this day I do not remember any feelings of emotion towards my mother. For a while I had been really depressed and sad that I didn’t have a mother and I felt very alone and abandoned by God and my mother.

I feel that I’m being “abandoned” and I talk to my dad who also is very depressed about his loss of his wife (my mother). He always just says, “She was a wonderful woman” or “She would have loved you so much” and that really does not help me with the depression that I am dealing with.

MomTulipsSo, I turn to the Science and Health by Mary Baker Eddy and turn to the definition of Mother in the “Glossary.” The definition of Mother is something like, “Help” or “Caring” which, also does not help me. So, at this time I feel the most abandoned in my life.

Mom9PIn addition, when I met an important person in my life, Sheri Luster, I found out what motherhood was all about and what a mother is like. As I like to say, “Sheri is the mother I never had.” Even though it is kind of supposed to be the other way around.

jim and sheri spiffy at workAnyways, Sheri was caring, loving, and helpful. Which, did remind me of the definition of Mother in the Science and Health. So, I realized what a motherly figure in my life would do and it helped me.

JimSheriLastly, I saw my mother in Sheri and other women in my life.

silly faces with estey and jimI even saw my mother in my dad because he was a single parent and basically had all of the weight on his shoulders.

dad and baby jim professional photoThis led to me having a healing of realizing that I was never alone and that my mother and God were there right with me the whole time, I just did not see it. Also, recently when I was out of school sick for a week I visited a doctor’s office because of my sickness and I was nervous and scared and I felt really alone, like nobody was there for me. And then I realized that God was there, Sheri was literally there, and I saw someone walk by the door outside the room at the doctor’s office that looked quite like my mom.

proud mom after jimmys birthI suppose that could have been an angel or something but that was when my mental healing occurred for not feeling well physically and spiritually. So, that is how I overcame my feeling abandoned.

Jim's love from LA quilt

 

Want more? Jim has a Facebook Page. He posts daily insights and thought-provoking videos. It’s called Finding the Keys to Success.

 

  1. Here are some photos taken in the first few days after Jim (then Jimmy) was born. Mom’s looking at him with such love and appreciation.
  2. Mom, with a little creative consultation from teenage me, made this quilt while pregnant with Jimmy. She and Dad decided not to find out his gender until birth so most of his baby quilts have both pink and blue in them.
  3. Here’s another one of Jimmy’s baby quilts. This one is bright and cheerful, both of which it’s difficult to be while under the burden of depression.
  4. Here’s another pink and blue quilt Mom made. This one’s more simple and designed to be used, rather than displayed as wall art. There’s one more like this with kitties in the center. Maybe they’ll be used by children Jim loves someday.
  5. This is my favorite recent picture of Sheri and Jim. Don’t they look spiffy?!
  6. These two love their snuggles. Back scratches are often exchanged in church.
  7. Our sister Estey and Jim get the sillies when they’re together! Here they are making funny faces. She’s one of the women who mothers Jim.
  8. Here are Dad and Jimmy way back when he had peach fuzz for hair.
  9. Can you see how proud Mom is in this photo? She’s tired from the long labor too… but happiness shines through her eyes. If there’s ever a doubt that Jim was wanted all you have to do is look at this picture.
  10. I made this quilt for Jim’s 11th birthday.

 

I’m linking up to Thankful Thursday and Can I Get a Whoop Whoop.

Sisters are Warm

It’s cold and snowy in Boston, where my sister lives, today. I could say neener-neener from my warm Southern California climate but I wish I could be there to give her a big hug instead. See, it’s her birthday today. So this post is for you, little sister! I love you.

beach estey

I don’t feel too badly that she’s stuck in the snow because she, always the adventurer, just got back from a family vacation to Mexico.

mary in the snow

Plus her daughter Mary sees the snow as a grand adventure! Look at that cutie’s smile!

estey trying to escapeSis has always been eager to explore. This photo with my Dad is actually one of the most flattering ones. I have a LOT of pictures where she’s trying to escape and making scrunchy grumpy faces. It’s not that she didn’t want the loves, she just had things to do!

preggo estey

This mama, pictured when she was pregnant with Mary, is always up for some silliness. Princess preggo! Professional photo by Jasmine Holzworth.estey witch costumeDressing up has always been appealing. Look at her as a witchy toddler!estey and kate sharing fries

Super-social, she prefers company over solitude. Above she and our cousin share french fries. A few years back she was shocked that I was going to get a facial alone. What’s the fun in that?! I’m a firm introvert and loved it. We’ve learned to appreciate our differences and see more and more similarities as the years pass. Happy birthday chickie.

If you’re needing to warm up your cold fingers, or need an awesome winter gift check these out. I’m up-cycling wool clothing into arm-warmers. The socks, scarves, vests and sweaters I use have stains and holes in them so these are truly giving them new life. They’re pre-felted so they won’t shrink on you and are stretchy to fit most adults. I have one child-sized one for sale in the shop as well. That one has smaller thumb holes. Only $15-$20 each! These two pairs and more are up for sale and I’ll be adding more as I sew them.

warmers lblue tan outside
arm warmers long dark inside

 

Linking up to Handmade Tuesdays and Thankful Thursdays.