the quilt early layout-1


the quilt math-1

the quilt rows-1

the qulit quilting up close-1

the quilt adding binding-1

the quilt the quilting-1

the quilt finished-1

the quilt finished-2

the quilt finished-3

The wedding in New York that Bj and I went to was for some dear friends, and I knew I wanted to make them a quilt. Matt is an architect and there was this Arcitextures line of fabric that was so perfect. As soon as I met his sweetheart Krista I knew it was true love and bought the fabric. And even though they sent a save the date I waited until less than a month before the wedding to start the quilt. I think I was really waiting for inspiration to set in. See, I had the fabric, but wasn’t sure what direction to go in for design. On September 20th I took a class from the super talented Rachel, who I also am lucky enough to call my friend. She teaches a wonky geese method and I was hooked. Now you may remember that I said, “geese never again!” Well this technique had me hooked, and by the 23rd I had a pretty decent amount of blocks. I decided to actually do the math this time and realized for a sizable throw (they both have to fit under it!) I needed a lot more. I got going and by the week before the wedding I had all the blocks done. I arranged and rearranged and started sewing them into rows. Then I stopped.

I was going to try and power through, stay up all night and get it done, but I realized I wanted it to have a hand bound binding, and a special label. If I rushed it that just wasn’t going to get done. So reluctantly I gave up trying to finish it before the wedding. As soon as I got back it was on my mind again. I finished piecing the top and had it pin basted in time to take to craftcation. I quilted it in a sort of wonky traveling box stitch I came up with. Free motion, on my Juki. I love the quilting pattern and will, for sure, use it again. The warm and cozy wool batting is just perfect for it too. I pieced together a scrappy orange binding, machine sewed it on, then spent a week hand sewing the binding to the back with a blind stitch. I am S-L-O-W at this, but it just looks too lovely so I had to do it. Last up was the label. I copied this label from a famous quilt maker. I really liked this Gel Roller (affiliate link) I used to mark on the fabric. I’ve used in on apparel before and it holds up.

I’m happy to say Matt and Krista got the quilt tonight and they love it! Yay!

  • Krista C. - Amber, we are so moved and delighted by this incredibly special and beautiful gift! We were both speechless and started laughing/crying when we read your card and unfurled the quilt. An instant family heirloom – words can’t even express how much this means to us. Thank you so much for sharing the story, and for giving us such an incredibly meaningful and beautiful gift! So grateful to immediately feel the love and count you, Bj, Tuesday and Bennie as dear friends when I met Matt. Huge hugs from us today and always!November 20, 2014 – 10:23 amReplyCancel

  • Mary Lou - Really well done, Amber. You always amaze me with your talents!November 20, 2014 – 11:44 amReplyCancel

  • carmen - I love this! It turned out so wonderful! The red binding and high contrast backing totally make this quilt. The label just might be my favorite part! So cute! They will love this forever!November 20, 2014 – 3:27 pmReplyCancel

  • Julia - This is the sweetest gift ever! I know this is something they will love and cherish forever. And it’s so beautiful!November 20, 2014 – 4:04 pmReplyCancel

I have been diving back into Project Life. I love recording memories like this, even though I don’t prioritize keeping it up to date right now. I like to work on it in batches, at least a few weeks at a time. That coupled with my little trick for getting the layouts to take up less space on my desk help me get at least some layouts done. And I use a great app for my iPhone called Momento, which aggregates all of my social media feeds (Facebook, twitter, Instagram, blogs, I even add Bj’s feeds to it) and allows me to add “moments” to my days where I can record more thoughts, quotes about the girls, or anything else I want to remember. Then when I go back to scrapbook the week I pull it up and it’s a great reminder of what we did (I also open up my calendar and Lightroom to show me the photos from the week).

As far as 2014 goes, I am “up to date” through April. Then I started back up for October to present. This directly corresponds with my time spent inside! During the spring and summer I just found I was outside too much to work on this. BUT I don’t worry about that. My family loves to look at whatever I get done. I remembered I took this video of the spreads I got done for 2013 and thought you might like to take a look. Don’t worry about getting everything done. I’m 100% sure you will be happy with even one week recorded like this.

Project Life 2013 from Amber Garrison on Vimeo.

It’s been a month since I talked about what we’ve been learning. So I thought I’d a recap for myself, and anyone interested.

There was lots of note writing/drawing/painting going on. Tuesday can fully clean her own brushes now, yay! Lots of the notes were on this little boogie board, which we love.


I find it around sometimes with little things like this. I tried to explain to Tuesday about punctuation, but she said she was ready for bed. No doubt she’ll figure it out on her own, as she did all this. We got this board for our flight with Bennet at an airport gift shop and it was such a hit.


Over all there are lots of doodles going on. I particularly liked this set I came across.


And this love note to her sister.


We played with letters this way too. I have been wanting these wooden alphabet pieces for a while, so when the Wooden Wagon was having a sale I picked them up. They just looked so enticing. Tuesday did have fun playing with them this night (while Bj and I tried our hand at Leonardo sticks), but hasn’t touched them since. I think I need to put them out in a different way for her. I love all the Grimm’s wooden blocks (the coasters might be my all time favorite), but Tuesday isn’t much of a builder, despite repeated attempts to get her into it.


I used our Montessori sound drawers with their miniatures for this “game”. I don’t think I’ve used them much since this sorting exercise a year and a half ago. This took quite a long time, and I think I could revisit simple sorting before attempting the whole alphabet again (though she did have fun alphabetizing these cards – that’s easy for her now – and doing this overall, some sounds were frustrating). Looking back at that old post makes me a bit wistful for the Montessori method, but it just didn’t work out in practice here. I think some of it might more with Bennet, but Tuesday is more project focused.


Bennet wasn’t left out of all the letter fun. We stamped with these old sign making stamps in fresh play dough. As you can see we also used a LIBERAL dose of sparkles. Bennet has learned how to operate one of the garlic presses completely independently, she loves it!


My mom had Tuesday for an afternoon and Bennet and I used the one on one time to stamp. She loved it. I recommend the ColorBox my first ink pads. They are not 100% washable, but the color is good and they are easy to use. I don’t believe they are archival, so this is more of an experience type of project, I recycled the results.


Bennet wanted a workbook like sissy. She likes the Kumon cut and paste books. She motors through them so I think I need to make some homemade type sheets like this.


Painting, another project both girls can do. I love projects they can both enjoy!


Games with Tuesday. This Monopoly Hotel game is so great for Tuesday’s age and skill level. It’s fun, she can read the money amounts, she knows what the cards do. Bj or I played with her quite a few times, but now she can easily play against us on her own. And it’s not another super boring kids game. The one bad thing: worst game box EVER. Trust me, you’ll toss it. I found this at good will for a couple bucks unopened. I get almost all our games there, if they’re duds I just donate them back. I highly recommend this system. Just make sure you have all the pieces (or they are easy to order). I asked Tuesday what she had to say about this game, “It’s fun, but not hard for one five year old. ” hehehe.

I posted a picture from our week in the life but we have also been playing with a regular card deck. Tuesday loves a game called “garbage” which is great reinforcement of the numbers 1-10. “War” helped her understand the order of cards (I found this “politically correct non violent” version at Goodwill, but the cards were too big and unweildly, so I donated it back. We thought it was pretty funny though).

We play A LOT of games. I inventoried all our games by age/ability and added the amount of players needed. It’s kind of an insane list. I think we have around 115 games. I can blame that partially on homeschooling. Games are so great for teaching so many things!

-from head to toe (2-4)
-roll and play (any)
-don’t spill the beans! (2-4)
-memory (use as matching)
-same? Different? (1)
-varialand (1-4)
-colorama (1-6)
-break the ice (any)
-Puzzels (floor, big pieces, wooden puzzels)
Little Kid (4+)
-Ladybug Game (2-4)
-color train (2-4)
-moon balance (2)
-feeleez (any)
-Chutes and Ladders (2-4)
-ABSeas (1-4)
-busy town (2-4)
-mighty mind (1+)
-my first rummikub (2-4)
-operation (1+)
-candy land (2-4)
-ready, set, silhouette (2-4)
-secret square (2-4)
-bilbo (any)
-color clowns (2-4)
-ants in the pants (2-4)
-telling time (2-4)
-memory (have lots)
-spot it jr.
-snap (
-continuo (1-5)
-truck puzzle game (1)
-wild craft (1-4)
-boggle jr. (1+)
-sound bingo (1-6)
-chocolate game (1)
-cheesy puzzle (1)
-hi ho cherry-o (2-4)
-lotto zoo (2-4)
-animal upon animal (2-4)
-rivers, roads, and rails (1-8)
-count up (2-6)
-what’s different (1+)
-hue knew? (2-6)
-mystery garden (2-6)
-topples (2-4)
-story cubes (any)
-Thomas and the magic railroad (2-4)
-honeybee tree (2-4)
-cootie (2-4)
-big pick up sticks
-pengolo (2-4)
-3D dominos
-picture dominos
-number bingo (1-36)
-Puzzels (24-100 pieces, layered wooden)
-dingo (3-7)
Reading/older (8?) Kid
-sudoku for kids (1)
-tricky fingers (1-2)
-clue (2-6)
-guess who? (2)
-dimensions vintage peg game (2)
-36 cube (1+)
-Yahtzee (2+)
-Chinese checkers (2-6)
-qwirkle (2-4)
-spot it (2-8)
-scan (2-8)
-uno (2-10)
-mille bornes (2-4,6)
-24 game (1+)
-phase 10 (2-6)
-pictionary man (group)
-catch phrase (1-any)
-spinner dominos (2-8)
-Mexican train dominos (2-8)
-take five (2)
-booby trap (1+)
-fun with sums (1)
-Alhambra (2-6)
-bottle tops (2+)
-hotels (2-4)
-monopoly hotels (2)
-league of pirates (2-)
-gobblet (2)
-connect 4 (2)
-four in a row (2)
-iota (2-4)
-dungeon dice (2-4)
-super mind (1+)
-tri ominos (2-6)
-jenga (any)
-blokus (2-4)
-skip-Bo (2-6)
-draw something (group)
-ticket to ride Asia (2-6)
-dice expansion
-ticket to ride (2-6)
-othello (2)
-Puzzels (101+)
Teen (10/12+)
-Scatagories +expansion pack (2-6)
-wooden sudoku
-bandu (2-6)
-apples to apples (4-10)
-snake oil (3-10)
-hive carbon (2)
-rock, paper, scissors, lizard, Spock (2-8)
-Monopoly (2-8)
-Golf Monopoly (missing the metal pieces)
-Snake Oil
-In a pickle (2-6)
-snatch (2+)
-love letters (2-
-dicecapades (2-6)
-imaginiff (3-8)
-spoons (group)
-card games (klutz book)
-travel golf (2+)
-taboo (group)
-pentago (2)
-Cards against humanity (big group)
-We didn’t play test this
-puzzle strike
-Rook (3-6)
-game bibles
-book on solitaire games
-girl scout game book
-party game book
This post is getting long (I need to do more regular updates) so a few more highlights. Tuesday asked to learn more about the states. She wanted to get out our puzzle map and compare it to our wall map. Here she is transferring puzzle pieces onto the control and back. She knows I can never say no to this type of stuff instead of rest time! So rest time has gotten shorter so we have more one on one time while Bennet is napping.
Tuesday also learned about fingerprinting. She made me another scavenger hunt. She has been playing outside with neighborhood kids. She is learning the rules of the road and can now safely bike in line with us to the park on the road. She is just growing and learning so much. I feel like we have big stretches of sort of directionless days and then I look back for these posts and it seems like we are so busy! I sure do love homeschooling! I’m starting to get lots of questions about how long we will homeschool and what our plan is. I can’t really say, and we don’t have one! At this point I would not consider putting Tuesday into a school setting until she is a very strong reader. Our local system is very much based on a kids ability to read, something I’m not worried about right now. So I wouldn’t want her in remedial tracks just because she isn’t ready to be a strong independent reader. After that, who knows. We’re really “following the child” right now and it’s working great.
  • Place Under The Pine - To me, it sounds like you are doing a great job homeschooling. I wouldn’t worry about those ‘directionless days’, like you said, overall you are still doing and learning so much. I know our kids, in school, only actually do an hour or two of ‘work’…that’s one of those downsides to school, they seem to waste so much time.
    I love that you have so many games, kids learn so much fun while playing. Our kids love playing UNO, I’m sure that is where our five year old really learned his numbers last year. Funny you should write about board games, I actually just wrote a blog post about the kid’s playing UNO last week –

    Have you heard/seen that logic puzzle game Camouflage – – my kids love that one too. It is a one person game, so great for car rides or quiet time in their room.November 17, 2014 – 3:04 pmReplyCancel

  • Dawn - So much creativity going on in your home! Your girls are so lucky that you are encouraging their learning in such positive ways. And it’s fun to watch the process!November 17, 2014 – 4:08 pmReplyCancel

  • emily (justem) - Those sticks look awesome (as do the coaster you linked to). Tuesday’s writing looks fantastic! And, I love that she is wearing a necklace where she is writing. I just think she and Miri would get along really well. ;)November 18, 2014 – 6:37 pmReplyCancel

  • Julia - I love the way your girls are learning! You really make learning fun, and that’s what its all about. Thank you for the recommendation of games – I have added several to Charlotte’s Christmas list. I am also considering the boogie board for Charlotte!November 20, 2014 – 4:12 pmReplyCancel

I recently got a haul of Socks That Rock yarn by Blue Moon. If I was pressed to pick one yarn to knit with the rest of my life it would probably be this, it’s so versatile! Wait, yes, I said sock yarn. But really this stuff comes in three weights, is superwash, and the colors so yummy, that you can use it for nearly anything. I was updating my embarrassingly large yarn stash on Ravelry and realized I never uploaded pictures of my finished copycat blanket.

Ravelry Link

copycat two-1

I finished this in early August, and did nothing to these photos because, ah… that summer light!

copycat two-4

It’s quite a project to knit a blanket on size six needles… I mean it takes a while. This one took me a year.

copycat two-6

Here is where I talk about starting it.

copycat two-3

I absolutely am in love with making these. I gifted this to a dear new baby halfway around the world I can’t snuggle, so this will do in place of real hugs.

copycat two-5

copycat two-2

I love playing with two very different skeins of yarns. If you click on my ravelry page you’ll see the balls of yarn being knit. I can’t recommend this yarn enough, here’s a link to it, try to control yourself, though I never do. I use medium weight most frequently.

socks that rock-13

I won a little contest of theirs for making descriptions for a few of their new holiday yarns (all gnome related colorways by the way!). So I had to get a few extra skeins. Scheming and dreaming… and of course I have another blanket halfway knit already. P.S. Throwback: my first copycat with Tuesday as a wee thing. We still use that blanket and love it.

Are you knitting? This weather certainly calls for it!

  • Julia - This is so beautiful, Amber!! I haven’t learned how to knit yet, but I hope to someday!November 14, 2014 – 4:22 pmReplyCancel

  • Mary Lou - Those stitches are perfect! Well done and very lovely. You should very very good about this piece!November 14, 2014 – 8:35 pmReplyCancel

  • Mary Lou - Those stitches are perfect! Well done and very lovely. You should feel very very good about this piece!November 14, 2014 – 8:39 pmReplyCancel

6:15 AM Bj gets up with Bennie.


8:57 AM


8:58 AM Bennet’s version of the get the Puppies home game.


10:25 AM Bj takes the girls out.


11:06 AM Meanwhile I’m still asleep at home:)


11:22 AM


3:47 PM Mama invented jump, jump, boom… which was fun until there were some head injuries.


7:08 PM dance show for mama and papa. She even made us tickets. Here she is being a rainbow bird.


7:43 PM Thanks to Erin I now know how to make the perfect crisp topping. But then the girls went a bit crazy and we didn’t get to eat dessert (of course I had to sample though).


8:32 PM I love reading to my girl.

sunday-10As always I love participating in this project. Occasionally I’ll get the photos into a book, but more often they serve to fill the gaps in other layouts. I love these records of our week, I’m sure I’ll always cherish them! I highly recommend participating in this project.

  • mary m - I like the idea about having the pictures fill in the gaps of your normal layouts. It almost seems like too much to do 7 layouts for the week, but too much to fit into 1 layout.November 10, 2014 – 8:26 amReplyCancel