Western Floor Pouf

A month or two ago, I got this western themed duck fabric for $6 a yard! SCORE.  I bought 3 yards of it because I knew I wanted to make an Amy Butler Floor Pouf with it. I finally got around to doing this last Saturday Afternoon – it took maybe 2 1/2 hours total (including a trip to the local craft store to buy 10lbs of polyfil).  I forgot how easy this pattern is – remember back to 2+ years ago when I made my first AB floor pouf.  Go ahead, click on the link and imagine the wavy lines and harp music as you travel back in time…..

Okay welcome back to 2016.  So I remembered one of my greatest complaints about this pattern was that you a) have to hand sew it shut and b) can’t really do anything once you get it dirty.  Sadly the floor pouf from 2014 was thrown away in the great migration west in 2015.  Well, to solve that issue – I decided to sew a zipper on the bottom of the pouf to prevent that from happening again.  Now if I need to wash it, I can just remove the polyfil and wash the pouf easy peasy!

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is that a cactus or are you just happy to see me? 
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zipper with polyfil coming out
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he’s sticking his tongue out at me.
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pretty boy and floor pouf

Astrodelic Quilt

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I finished this quilt a few weeks ago, but finally delivered it to my new niece so I can finally go in depth with it here.:)

I found the Astrodelic Quilt on a great website of Fat Quarter Shop.  They have a ton of free patterns and really cute fabrics. I chose this quilt because it looks really stunning and actually is very simple.  The angle cuts are made with the same method of making binding so this is a true beginner quilt. Due to the large pieces it was also easy to line up and piece together.  I kept this incredibly simple with just a cross ‘x’ quilt.  I looked at other people’s quilting choices online and decided I wanted my fabric and clean lines to show more than the quilting so I literally did the bare minimum.  If I did it again, I would probably hand quilt or machine quilt the seams. Overall, it took 2 hours to iron/cut, 3 hours to piece/sew, and 3 hours to bind. So a wonderful weekend quilt. Here are my pics!

Feel free to ask question in the comments – I would also love to do a small class or tutorial of this online/in person if people are interested!

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prepping to join batting with front/back
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prewashed, post binding – it looks so good in my living room😉
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this finished result! 

Bathroom Before & After

So this is A LONG TIME COMING I’m pretty sure I’ve been promising the before and after here for months…. well it’s FINALLY HERE!

Boy oh Boy was this bathroom a project. When I first started this ‘mini-refresh’ I thought it would be new paint and a shower curtain………

Here’s what I really ended up doing:

  1. Removed shower stall
  2. Re-did all caulking
  3. Restored Window
  4. Restored Medicine Cabinet
  5. Painted walls
  6. Painted vanity
  7. painted heating vent
  8. Replaced toilet
  9. Deep Cleaned
  10. Changed cabinet hardware
  11. Replaced broken soap dish tile
  12. Repaired vanity drawers
  13. Lined vanity drawers

It took ~30 full hours to restore all these items over the course of 4 weeks.  I had to sand and strip almost every surface to remove rust, paint, caulking, and calcium build up from the untreated well. Well enough chit chat – PICTURES!

BEFORE:

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just grimy – shower stall covered in calcium – toilet filled with rust and calcium

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mmm moldy calcuim

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rusted out window in the shower

Please feel free to go shower now after you’ve looked at all of those grimy/nasty pictures.

and now…. drum roll please!

AFTER

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I made the shower curtain from IKEA fabric.

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I chose a light mint green and I love it. 
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this cabinet is one of my favorite things. 
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I worked so hard on this damn rusted window – just need to fix the cracked sill. 

Mesa Verde!

Since it is the 100 year celebration of the National Parks we’ve really been hitting the parks this summer and came to Mesa Verde in late June. This is our second park this summer and our 3rd this year (Carlsbad 7/15, Sand Dunes 5/16).

It was a really magical place.  Ancestral Puebloans lived in this area for several hundred years on top of the mesa before spending the last 80 years in the area in the cliffs – due to horrific ‘drouth’ (poetic form of drought lol) theAncestral Puebloans left the area for good to relocate to modern New Mexico and Arizona. I was surprised at how ‘active’ the park was.  Generally, you think of parks as being look/no touching and well if you aren’t into outdoors stuff you can ride the tram/elevator/moving escalator or just sit in the visitors center.  This park was still no-touch, but ALL of the activities were strenuous and physically demanding.  Plus, even when you are in shape – it’s not like I practice climbing ladders – it was hard.

We hit up the Balcony House (SUPER TOUGH), Long House (THE BEST), and Cliff Palace (The most popular).

Cliff Palace was the 101 of Cliff Dwellings – nice way to dip your feet into the cliff dwellings and had the least physically demanding route/layout.

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View from the start of the tour
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View from the side entrance
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Park Ranger telling us all about a kiva – or spiritual room 

Balcony House – this was the most physically challenging cliff dwelling. We had to climb one 30 ft ladder, multiple 10ft ladders, crawl thru a 18 inch x 18 inch tunnel, and climb up the side of a boulder holding on to steel chains. It was quite the experience and I couldn’t imagine living in a place that required so much entry/exit dramatics. Seeing their little foot and hand notches all over the rocks was insane. I mean, the dude gives me shit when I try to take all the groceries from the car to the house in one trip, imagine trying to carry all your harvest stuff down with you…. I would have died. Of course, I think the name Balcony House comes from the fact that they built a little retaining wall to keep from falling off the side…. ‘balcony’.

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view from Balcony House
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the 32 ft ladder – Alisha is excited. 
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that black stuff on the ceiling is smoke from 800 year old fires!

And now everyone’s favorite the Long House – this required a little less than a mile walk into the dwelling.  It was really hot on the mesa but thankfully there was a lovely breeze as we embarked on the hike.

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the hike into the dwelling
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gorgeous view

 

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partners in crime
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notice the hand print on the center top…. it’s 800 years old. 

It was just a beautiful place.  So much to see. I would love to go back in the cooler months and be able to do more hiking around the area.

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Quilt the day away

I have a fever and the only prescription is more quilting!

Okay corny jokes aside – I finally made the leap into quilting this month and it may or may not be why I haven’t been updating my blog. (Sorry I’m not sorry!)

I first made two no-piecing quilts and then I dove right in to something that was actually made with squares.  I am having a blast.  I can’t believe how much fun it was.

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it’s always nice to see the things you make being used
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table runner for lois! 

yay quilting!

Gator Farm – Sand Dunes 2016

I mentioned in my other Sand Dunes post that we went to the Alligator Farm located about 15 minutes away.  The history of this place revolves around the hot springs that are present and capable of supporting this sort of gator-friendly environment.  They have over 300 gators there and lots of rescued reptiles that live happy lives.

One of the most hysterical things we learned is that earlier on the day we visited, the farm had run out of bananas.  Apparently, the turtles were rioting in anger since they didn’t have any bananas to eat. It was hysterical – who knew little turtles had such big attitudes. The running joke for the rest of our visit was – ‘DO YOU  HAVE AN UPDATE ON THE BANANAS?’ It was a great place and we got to see a lot of very amazing reptiles in the San Luis Valley!

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they look like they are telling each other jokes.
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albino gator
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come on! come stand by us!
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i’m gonna save this for our engagement announcements if the day ever comes (haha!)
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there was a clear sign that said ‘don’t put your finger in i bite!’ but the bird looked so friendly…..
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this way to gator town!

Here is the full history from Colorado Gator Farm:

Erwin and Lynne Young moved from Post, Texas to Alamosa, Colorado in September, 1974 with their four children, Mark, Mike, Sherri, and Jay.  Erwin learned of the geothermal water resources available in the Valley and wanted to grow Tilapia, an African perch that requires warm water and is very good to eat.

In 1977 they purchased the 80 acre farm that is now Colorado Gators Reptile Park.  It wasn’t until 1987 that they purchased 100 baby alligators to dispose of dead fish and the remains of filleted fish.

Those baby gators grew quickly in the warm geothermal water (87° F) and the locals wanted to see them, so we opened to the public in 1990.  Soon we were in the spotlight of many media programs and articles.  Individuals with overgrown alligators and other reptiles such as large pythons, tortoises, iguanas, and more started dropping them off with us.

We have become a sanctuary for unwanted exotic pets and we care for them as best we can.  We display them for the public to understand the dangers in owning these pets and we take them to schools for educational programs.

 

Diabetes Ride – Tour De Cure 2016

Some of you may remember my Diabetes ride last year, well, it’s that time again to start fundraising!

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at mile 20 on then 2015 tour de cure.

The Tour de Cure is a GREAT event to ride to raise money to help fund diabetes research.  Each year they raise over $29 Million to support the American Diabetes Association.

Why do I ride?

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I ride for my grandpa Dan DeNeice. He had Type 2 Diabetes as a result of always being a huge (tall/250lb+) guy.  He did make radical changes later in his life and got moving by riding his road bike all over the neighborhood. But, the great changes he made were too late for some things and he struggled with complications from Diabetes in his last years and sadly passed away in 2007 from heart failure. His absence has always been felt in our family and I wish that I would have gotten the time to ride more with him. I ride for him because I know if this race had been around when he was healthy he would have kicked everyone’s butt.  Coincidentally, the first Tour de Cure took place in 2007 and that year the ADA received $13 Million from riders.  I ride for him, because I don’t want anyone else in my family or yours to get their life cut short or diminished by having Type 2 Diabetes. I strongly support advocacy and education in the hopes that others can make the changes before it’s too late for them.

And….well you also guessed it. I NEED YOUR SUPPORT! I’ve set a goal to raise $750 in order to ride the race.  That means I need to raise it all to be allowed to burn out 50k in late September! You can donate on my page here if you would like.

You may wonder where your money goes – well ADA does a great job prioritizing the money raised from Tour de Cure – take a look!

RESEARCH

Since the American Diabetes Association launched its Research Programs in 1952, it has funded nearly 4,500 research projects, investing more than $700 million in diabetes research.

In 2014 alone, the Association funded 376 new and continuing research grants and made nearly $30 million in diabetes research funding available through its four major grant programs: the Core Research Program, the Pathway to Stop Diabetes? Program, Research Co-Support, and Collaborative Targeted Research. These funds supported 364 investigators at 143 leading academic research institutions across the U.S.

INFORMATION

The Association provides the public and health care professionals with the most up-to-date information to help take a stand against diabetes through our Center for Information and Community Support (1-800-DIABETES) and two web sites, www.diabetes.org and www.stopdiabetes.com, as well as via consumer and professional books and periodicals. The organization has offices in communities across the country and serves the public through a multitude of programs and activities including American Diabetes Association Expos, Diabetes Camps, and outreach to high-risk populations through its Por tu Familia, Live Empowered! and Native American initiatives. In 2014, 5,400 youth attended one of the 50 Association Camps hosted in 24 states.

ADVOCACY

The Association fights on behalf of the diabetes community to increase federal funding for diabetes research and programs, improve comprehensive health care and insurance coverage, and to end discrimination against people with diabetes. Explore the Advocacy section on our main ADA website and learn what is being done on a local and national level to support people with diabetes, and also learn how you can get involved in those efforts.

I had a great time at the event last year, riding solo – BUT this year I get to ride the 50 with my uncle! I’ll again be riding on my single speed KHS and I’m super excited.  This year I am changing up the race location – I’ll be riding the Parker Tour de Cure instead of the Boulder/Ft. Collins Tour de Cure.

I’ll be updating here as I train, and prep for the race.  I can’t wait!

And if you would like Donate here!