Cycling for Our Lunch

Mr. Tux, Tuxley, and I cycled 54 miles on Saturday. We were on the road by 8:20AM and made it back home by 4:00PM. A friend of ours rode about 4 miles with us. He was just coming back from a ride and met up with us as we were headed out. He rode back out on the trail with us for a few miles before heading home. Tuxley was very unsure of him. The G Man rides a trike and Tuxley was suspicious of somebody riding along at his level. He threw many dirty looks at the G Man before opting for his sulking doxie routine.

We rode the first quarter of the ride and stopped for breakfast. I had half a veggie & hummus sandwich, some delicious baked french toast, home-style potatoes, and a thing of chocolate milk. Pure heaven. Mr. Tux had the same french toast and potatoes, with half a banger, a lemon bar, part of a turkey sandwich and some chocolate milk. We love our chocolate milk. After our breakfast stop, we continued on our ride out along the trail.

For lunch, we stopped at a favorite cafe of ours that is finally accessible by the trail now that the snow has melted. (This is the same trail that we cycled on up to the snow line a few weeks ago.) Lunch was delicious as normal. The cafe owner remembered Tuxley from last year and even gave him a dog biscuit. Tuxley loved it. The owner is really friendly and owns a couple dachshunds of his own. Mr. Tux enjoyed a mango smoothie and cinnamon roll for lunch. I nibbled on a piece of sourdough toast, a bag of Doritos, and a mango smoothie. Very tasty.

Heading home, we got hit with the headwind again. We had looked at the weather report before leaving and knew the risk of a strong headwind. Yet, cycling is like a drug. We couldn’t resist the beautiful sunshine and clear sky even if it meant a headwind coming home. Halfway home, we stopped again to nibble the other halves of our sandwiches from breakfast. We also stopped again about three quarters of the way home for some nuts and a Pemican bar. Because of fighting the headwind all the way home, it was essential that we kept consuming calories so we could make it home and not burn out.

Less than two miles from the house, the storm the wind had been blowing in hit. We got sprinkled on. Just as we rolled into our garage, the rain really started coming down. The sky opened up and just dumped. We were so thankful to have made it safely home before the rain hit. Overall it was another wonderful ride. We were a bit sore on Sunday, but still considering going riding. Instead we settled for doing yard work and cleaning around the house. I am looking forward to our next cycling outing. This past week, we rode a total of 3 rides and over 100 miles. Well on our way to reaching our total mileage goal for the year.

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Mr. Tux’s bikeIMG_5243

Saoirse with the trailerIMG_5246

The weather was beautiful, if a little blusteryIMG_5245

Tuxley and I wore matching blue vests. Aren’t we precious?!IMG_5258

It takes quite a bit of space to park both bikes and the trailer when we stopIMG_5249

Tuxley got cold and needed his heavy coatIMG_5251What a styling dog!

Kiera

A Monster Nursery Reveal

Recently, I finished a very special monster quilt for some friends. Their little boy, Henry, was born this past week and I have wonderful nursery pictures to share with you. The nursery is designed around a monster theme. Our friends were wonderful enough to take pictures and let me share them here with you. So with out further ado, here are the pictures of the Monster Nursery that the quilt was designed for.

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I love the wall color and the little monsters on the wallDSC00738

The monster prints over the changing table are ADORABLE!DSC00736

The quilt has found it’s forever home. The colors and monsters match perfectly! I am so happy that everything matches so nicely.DSC00732Ta-Da! One finished nursery for one special little boy.

It is always so much fun to see the final home of the quilting projects I create. I know that the quilt and all of the blankets will be loved and well cherished. I can’t wait to finish the baby knits and special projects for Brynn’s twin girls and share with you.

Kiera

PS. The photos in my post were not taken by me and are used with special permission.

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{My Crafting Corner} – A Monster Quilt

My major crafting project over the Christmas holidays and the first part of January has been a very special baby quilt for a very special little boy. Some friends of ours are expecting their second child, a little boy, and I set out to create a custom quilt for their nursery. When I asked Kristen what she was planning on for the nursery, she told me blue, tangerine, and monsters. She had found some awesome monster print fabric and was designing the room around that fabric. Armed with a picture of the fabric and her color scheme, I started planning.

I started with a modern stripped quilt design and incorporated appliquéd monster blocks into the design. What I came up with is an entirely original and custom design just for Kristen and Kylan’s special little man. Using Pintrest and some quilting blogs, I brainstormed for ideas before drawing out and designing the quilt from scratch. I dragged Mr. Tux with me to Jo-Ann’s fabric shopping – my argument for him being there was since it was his co-worker, Mr. Tux had to give input. Honestly,  I really just needed him to bounce fabric prints off. I knew exactly what I wanted from the quilt imagined in my head.

The quilt was based on a crib quilt size of 40″x60″ with a 1/4″ seam allowance. The quilt top is constructed of cotton fabrics with a soft flannel backing to give it an extra cuddly side. While I was doing all my shopping for quilt fabrics and Tuxley’s Christmas blankets, I also happened across awesome flannel prints I couldn’t say no to. The end result is that Kristen and Kylan not only ended up with a finished crib quilt, but they also got two blue and tangerine chevron receiving blankets, one monster print receiving blanket, and one extra burp rag from leftover quilt backing. On top of that, I had enough fabric leftover from the quilt and in my flannel stash to make a matching doll quilt and blanket for big sister. By the time I was finished, Mr. Tux was ready to give everything to them and have me stop creating things. I can’t help that one of my strongest love languages is gifts, yes, I probably did go a bit overboard. But I had SO much fun doing it.

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Adorable monster fabric!IMG_4444

Ironing. There was lots and lots and lots of ironingIMG_4448

One finished doll quiltIMG_4454

custom name appliqué instead of a monster on the doll quiltIMG_7480

Another picture of the finished doll quiltIMG_7486

I used the same backing as brother’s monster quiltIMG_7489

The finished doll quilt and blanketIMG_4449

My pile of finished items is growingIMG_7495

the receiving blankets…I posted about making them hereIMG_7502

the first blue monsterIMG_7505

the first orange monsterIMG_7511

blue monster number twoIMG_7509

orange monster number twoIMG_7507

the third and final blue monsterIMG_7513

the last and final orange monsterIMG_4446

The first look at what the finished quilt top will look likeIMG_7515

the quilt backing worked perfectly with the topIMG_7518

One completed monster quilt with monster receiving blanket and burp clothIMG_4452

my completed pile of stuffIMG_7521

The whole and complete layout for the baby!IMG_7523

An up-close picture of all the goodiesIMG_7522

I am thrilled with how everything worked!IMG_4451

The quilt is so bold and bright! I just love it!IMG_7524

I hope they like everything….IMG_7500One last picture of the finished quilt. It turned out almost exactly like it was supposed to. The things that didn’t work will always be the quilter’s secret.

Stay tuned for another post revealing Kristen and Kylan’s amazing monster nursery and how the quilt fit into its new home.

Kiera

Holiday Sewing for Tuxley

With Christmas rapidly approaching, I am busy quilting Mr. Tux’s quilt for his gift (don’t worry he knows all about it), and sewing new blankets for Tuxley. My BFF Brynn and I ventured out to Jo-Ann Fabrics a couple weekends ago to look at fabric. The main reason we were there was looking for flannels for receiving blankets we are working on. However, I can’t resist a visit to Jo-Anns without purchasing enough flannel for at least one Tuxley blanket. After all Christmas is coming and he needs a new blanket for Christmas. Or at least that is the reasoning I tried to sell to Mr. Tux when he picked me up from the store and I had an extra two yards of fabric. That man has amazing patience with my little quirks 🙂

So I got Tuxley a yard of deliciously tangerine fabric with white bicycles and a yard of light blue-grey fabric with white bicycles. Combined, the fabrics will make the perfect addition to Tuxley’s growing blanket collection.

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I just LOVE the tangerine! I may have to go back for more fabric. It would make an amazing quilt back.IMG_5521

While at Jo-Anns, I did find fabric for a couple receiving blankets for a very special baby boy due in February. I am working on a custom-designed baby quilt for him, and hope to have some pictures of that quilt up soon to show off. Until then though, I needed something else to sew for him and receiving blankets make a perfect gift. Especially when I can find chevron fabric in his nursery colors of tangerine and blue. I just adore this new popularity of tangerine. Such a fun color to work with and use as an accent. I am thrilled to start sewing his receiving blankets.

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just look at the wonderful chevrons!!IMG_5527

love the tangerine and blue combinationIMG_5529the large chevrons backed by smaller chevrons will be a cute mix

Even more exciting is that I will be able to start working on his baby quilt after Thanksgiving. I am still waiting on a couple pictures of coordinating fabric that is being used for valances. Once I have the fabric examples, I can pull the designs off, finish the quilt design, and start creating! Until then, I will content myself with making a couple receiving blankets in delicious tangerine and blue chevrons.

Kiera

 

Weekend Fun and Adventures

I have spent the last couple evenings cleaning the house and getting ready for company. My brother (JM) and his girlfriend Sunshine are driving up this evening to spend the whole weekend with us! It is going to be a blast. Plans for adventure include motorcycling together, talking, cooking, and possibly the county fair. This is the second year we have gotten together for a motorcycling weekend and I must admit, I can’t wait!

Tuxley loves having my brother and his girlfriend visit. Ok, he really just adores Sunshine. Something about her just melts Tuxley’s soul and for the time she is around, my precious one person dog ignores me. He will go nuts when she gets here. Overall, it should be a wonderful, relaxing, fun-filled weekend spent with two amazing people.

Except for getting ready for company, not much has been going on around here. Mr. Tux is in complete nerd heaven with another monitor for his growing collection. I am trying out a new planner system for the first time. My Franklin-Covey pages arrived on Wednesday and I have my binder mostly set up. Now I just need to wait for January to officially start the new pages. I will do a post on my planner and how it is going at a later date. I am busy planning another baby quilt. This one is for another set of friends who will be welcoming their second child in February. I am thinking of creating a big sister/little sibling quilt package, but we will see. More information such as baby gender and nursery theme/colors are needed before I make any decisions. Until then, I will continue to haunt JoAnns for fabric and Pinterest for ideas.

Enough rambling from me. Have a great weekend everyone.

Kiera

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Home Sweet Home

We are home safe and sound. All five of us are together again in our glorious home. Mr. Tux and I had the most amazing time visiting with MonkeyRacer, Mrs. MonkeyRacer, and little Monkey. We hadn’t seen them in almost two years, and it was wonderful getting to visit them and meet the little Monkey. Besides spending time with our friends, Mr. Tux and I took time to visit the Seattle Aquarium and Pikes Street Market together as well as shopping at some awesome stores we don’t have access to over here in small-town Eastern Washington. When we were grabbing Jamba Juice for the drive home Monday morning, the girl behind the counter was shocked to discover that the nearest Ikea and Jamba Juice was Seattle. Apparently city people don’t understand that us small-town folk have to drive 5-7 hours sometimes to get to real shopping stores.

Mr. Tux and I found amazing finds at Ikea for decorating our home and we have a disaster of a house to clean up this weekend. I hope to go through our Seattle videos and pictures this weekend and share them with you sometime next week. I will try to still post regularly on Friday morning as well. I will be spending my time cleaning my house and arranging all our new treasures. For now, I am leaving you with a gorgeous picture of Seattle taken from Alki beach.

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Kiera

Hi Ho, Hi Ho It’s off to Seattle We Go

By the time you read this, Tuxley will be safely deposited at the puppy spa for a weekend of fun and games; while Mr. Tux and myself go gallivanting off on a wild adventure to the beautiful, wet, thriving, people-filled metropolis of Seattle. I am so excited. We are spending the weekend with our good friends and celebrating my birthday all in one excitement-filled, mega-shopping weekend. Monday morning we will return to the quiet, small-town suburban life with lots of pictures and great memories to share. Major locations/attractions/sites on our visit list include: Pike’s Street Marketplace, the Seattle Aquarium, Ikea, American Girl Doll Store, and a rocky beach complete with tide pools and crabs! Have an amazing weekend everyone!

Kiera

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Dachshund Blanket Tutorial

On a recent trip to JoAnn’s, I made the awesomest, most wonderful find in the half-off flannel section. Doxie Prints! Totally fabulous fabrics with adorable, little doxies frolicking. I fell in love with the cuteness. However, there was a problem. Some of the fabric was way to girly and feminine even for my standards for Tuxley. He may wear purple, have a pink lambie as a favorite toy, and cuddle in a flowered blanket, but the French Dachshunds were just too feminine even for me. So I came up with Plan B. Our friends own two adorable doxies themselves, and, lucky for me, they have an adorable little girl along with a handsome little man. Three doxie blankets coming right up.

IMG_2499Look at the awesome fabric!! IMG_2509Little doxiesIMG_2508I think I am in love with this fabricIMG_2505So cute…makes me want a girl doxie of my own… IMG_2503Fabric for Tito’s blanketIMG_2502Fabric for Tuxley’s blanket IMG_2501Last but not least, Moxie’s soon-to-be new blanket

To make all of Tuxley’s snuggle blankets, I use a simple pattern that I have adapted from a basic receiving blanket. It takes me about 20-25 minutes start to finish to make one of these blankets. To make a dachshund snuggle blanket you will need:

  • 2 yards of flannel (either 2 prints of your choice, or both of the same print)
  • a rotary cutter
  • a craft cutting board
  • a clear cutting ruler
  • scissors

First I wash both yards of fabric in a warm cycle to ensure that any shrinking or color running happens before I start. Once the fabric is dry, iron out all the wrinkles. This will help you immensely in the next step. After the fabric has been ironed, place fabric 1 face up on a flat surface. Layer fabric 2 on top of it face down. Smooth out all the wrinkles. The fabric should all be stretched out now and flat, right sides together. Like this:

IMG_2513blanket spread out – right sides together

Next, I fold the entire blanket in half and then half again so that the raw edges are lined up for trimming. Take your cutting mat, ruler, and rotary cutter and trim off the raw edges, making sure that the edges are completely even.

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trimming the edges

Once I have the blanket square, I take a kitchen bowl round stencil and use it to round the corners. This blanket can be made with square corners, but I personally prefer how the rounded corners look. After evening out the edges, I sew along the edge of the blanket, stitching a generous 1/2 inch seam allowance. Remember: leave a 8 inch opening on one side for turning the blanket right-side out. Now that the seam has been stitched, grab the scissors and notch the round corners to ensure that they will turn smoothly. Then flip the blanket right-side out and flatten.

Next, I sew a seam around the blanket again, this time creating a 1/4 inch seam that holds the edges together and finishes the blanket. If you wanted to be more creative, you could try using binding tape, or some other ribbon to create trim. But I have found that the simple finish works best with dog blankets. Here are the finished blankets:

IMG_2529finished doxie snuggle blankets IMG_2532Moxie’s pretty new blankie IMG_2531

Tito’s blanket turned out amazing!

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All wrapped up and ready for delivery

As you can see from the pictures, the edge is simply finished and the rounded corners give it a softer edge. If you have any questions on how I did a certain step, please let me know. I am sure I am missing pictures of some of the steps.

Bonus Points: Here are pictures of Moxie and Tito enjoying their new blankets, courtesy of our friends. Disclaimer: I did not take these photos and do not own the rights to them, but am getting to show them off to you with special permission.

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Peek-a-boo…I see a Moxie nose IMG_0821two cozy doxies IMG_0829Tito approves

Have fun making a cuddle blanket for that special dachshund you know.

Kiera

In the Spirit of the Season – 10 Things…

…I am thankful for:

1. Mr. Tux: I am very thankful for his warm  body to cuddle on the cold nights

2. Zeus and Apollo: The kitties brighten my life and bring laughter to our home

3. A well-working, dependable vehicle for driving in the snow

4. A fun, fast-paced job that I love

5. Our warm house

6. My best friend Brynn – She brightens my day and is always up for an adventure

7. That I haven’t been miserably sick so far this semester (knock on wood)

8. That I am GRADUATING in May!

9. Family and friends

10. Mr. Tux’s nerdy skills: my computer and sound systems have never run so good before in my life. (Note to others: marry a nerd and your computer will always work!)

~Kiera

Adventures in the Kitchen – Cupcakes

As some of you know, Brynn is living up here this school year. We are having tons of adventures, including study parties and zumba class fun. Well Saturday, she came over and we celebrated her birthday! In honor of the event, I broke down and actually baked. For Christmas Mr. Tux and I were given a book of creative cupcake recipes and we decided to try a design. These pictures are a brief glimpse into the excitement we had.

For those of you who know, I hate cooking and rarely do it. I swore that I would marry and man who cooked so I wouldn’t have to. Would you believe it, Mr. Tux loves to cook. Since we got married, I have cooked a grand total of maybe 8 meals. Now that isn’t much for having been married roughly 9 months. Heaven help us when I actually have to start cooking. Anyway but I digress. So we baked  and decorated a cupcake cake for Brynn. Enjoy the pictures, then go find yourself a snack. I know I am getting hungry just posting these. 😛