Monday, March 22, 2010

Gee whiz!

There is a Liberty of London Target bicycle on eBay right now, going for $750, with two days left to go in the auction. It's the Garla (flowered) pattern, one of 500. If mine is the other pattern and numbered as well in a batch of only 110, maybe I should've kept it in the box and auctioned it?!

Not really.

I love my new bike.

But man, sure makes you think...

Friday, March 19, 2010


Yesterday was gorgeous. Today, with a high of 72 blessed degrees, is supposed to be the same.

But lest your jealousy should kick in right about now, here is what is supposedly happening tomorrow.

And yes, I live in the pretty pink area.

What a difference a day makes. Forty degrees difference from one day to the next. There ain't nothin' like daffodils covered in snow. Are you kidding me????

Stinkin' Oklahoma spring.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Roller. Derby. Seriously.

So Sunday we went out to lunch after church with two other couples from our Sunday School (er, I mean, Life Group). One of the gals was talking about going out that night with her younger sister, and I'm afraid my ears perked up at the mere mention of the words:


Um, excuse me, what did you just say?

Oh, yes. This ultra-cool gal and her sister were, in fact, going to the local roller derby matchup that very night.

(image found here)

Realizing the fact that I was about to clinch my status as the ultra-nerdy-nerd-nerd of the group, I totally invited myself along. Oh, yes. I did. There was no way I was going to miss out on this little opportunity. Remember, I saw the movie. And several years ago, I thought I was big bad enough to actually consider showing up (with my scooter friend) to the auditions, just to check it out. Believe me, I may be small, but I've got spunk. Just as my husband.

Graciously, my friend said it would be fun for me to tag along (which hopefully I didn't rain on their parade). WOOT!

So off we trekked to the local skate rink that evening to watch a match titled "Malice in Thunderland" between the Thunder Dollz, one of our local teams, and a team from a neighboring city.

Oh yes, you know it's going to be good with a name like that. Ha.

Oh, and did I mention this experience earned me another jewel in my crown for the Most Amazing Mother USA Pageant? By skipping Sunday night church and leaving my boy at home with my husband instead of taking him to Pre-K choir? Oh yes, amazing mother that's me. Ditching church for roller derby.

The first thing I learned about roller derby is this:

Next to the State Fair, a roller derby match is a GOLD MINE for people watching.

Oh, yes, folks. Mullet-watching at its finest. Muffin tops, tattoo heaven, plumber's cracks out the wazoo, body piercings galore, and all colors of the rainbow Kool-aid hued hair. You name it, we saw it. I could have chosen to put together the most jaw-dropping array of clothing I owned into some punk rocker getup that would have made Punky Brewster proud, and I wouldn't have stuck out like a sore thumb in the least, but instead fit right in with half the crowd. But then some of the crowd was more run-of-the-mill average, including this hilarious little group of five older men that strolled in and took their seats in front of us. Seriously, in a sea of rebels and rebel-wannabe's, they looked like the deacons that escaped from the Southern Baptist Convention for the evening. And according to my friend, they must be avid fans because they were at the last matchup she went to. Cracked me up. Awesome, right? Oh man, I was lovin' it.

The second thing I learned about roller derby is this:

Violence, people. Next to ice hockey, a roller derby match is a GOLD MINE for violence.

I should've figured this out from the start. Like any good American sporting event, the whole thing opened with a good old-fashioned singing of "The Star Spangled Banner". Our patriotic songbird was none other than one of the roller derby girls who hopped out of her wheelchair and belted it out Star-Search style, while a fellow Goth-inspired-might-have-been-a-roller-derby-girl-or-might-have-just-been-her-punk-rocker-lady-friend began some very dramatic sign language, something I haven't experienced since my high school graduation. Wow. Oh yes, folks, this patriotic number was belted out by one of their team members who was apparently benched from a previous roller derby injury that left her in a wheelchair for the time being. Awesome.

This violence continued throughout the evening, most apparent in the second half when three of the girls from the visiting team (so sorry about that, Joplin, Missouri) were pummelled to the ground and taken off the rinks by medics. (Um, by medics who didn't exactly look like they would have official medic credentials. But maybe they did. But it was hard not to laugh when one waddled out with a roll of gauze. This poor girl was plowed hard to the ground by some very large women on skates, and he waddled out with a roll of gauze. Not so sure about how helpful he was.) And the violence continued when "Cherry Bloodbath" (yes, that was her derby name) was ejected from the game after proudly (and very purposefully) plowing into the biggest referree (aptly named Bubba, oh yes, he was), causing him to stop, drop and roll and roll and roll...

Google "roller derby injury" sometime when you've got a strong stomach. Seriously, people, these women mean business.

Another fact I learned about roller derby is this:

There are lots of rules, none of which are really that important since it's really all about the ruthless skating, punk outfits, and killer derby names.

I can tell you the gist of it. Basically the girls all skate around and around in a circle. Our teams skate flat-track, which, you guessed, means it is on a flat rink. (In the movie, Whip It, they skate on something that looks more like a bowl, but darned if I don't know what you'd call that.) Each team sends girls onto the track -- a jammer (which is what I'd want to be if I played), blockers, and a pivot (or two, I was confused at how many were out there). The jammer has stars on her helmet cover, the blockers just wear regular helmets, and the pivot has a stripe down her helmet cover. The jammer is basically the one trying to score. If she can skate through or past the group, she gets a point. The blockers are like the defense and the offense -- they are trying to help her get through or block her from getting through. The pivots kind of are at the front, trying to set the pace of skating for everyone else. After this, I got confused. I do know that there were two-minute sessions for the jammers to try and score points, but I lost it past that. You can look up the rules on Wikipedia if you want to really understand it.

If you've seen the movie, you would be laughing at how similar it is to real-life roller derby, at least the roller derby in my neck-of-the-woods. One thing that made me laugh continuously was the dude who was dressed in his suit and given a microphone to be the emcee for the evening. He was so cheesy and constantly sounded like he was going to start hollering out, "Are you ready to RUUUUUMMMMMBBBBBLLLLLLE?" like at the basketball games in the 90's, and pretty much everything he said sounded like the teachers on Charlie Brown ("Wah wah wah wah") because we had no idea what he was saying due to his not-so-high-tech microphone that was turned up a leetle bit too loud. Not to mention he looked like a bouncer-wannabe at a nightclub. There was also some sort of a lady out in the middle with the refs in a short go-go-dancer/borderline-unfortunate-is-she-or-isn't-she-a-um-lady-of-the-night-wannabe sort of outfit that just walked around, not really particularly doing much of anything. I wasn't sure if she was supposed to be kind of like those girls that stand outside the ring for all that crazy wrestling crap on TV. Not that I watch it. Because I don't.

And then there were all types of roller derby girls like in the movie. They all had the punk/Goth/pin-up girl thing going on with their crazy names, wacky outfits, tough personas, etc., but they were also as varied as could be. There was one pivot (I think on our team) that was very pin-up girl -- push-up bra working overtime, heavy makeup, and posed most of the time with her hands on her hip. Then there were the blockers that scared me. Big ladies that looked like they could knock me from here to Canada. And then there were lots of more regular girls that were just flat out good skaters. I really was impressed at the game itself. It takes a lot of stamina to skate around and around that hard and fast, not to mention taking about a zillion shoves and pushes while trying to stay on your feet and look good while doing it.

All in all, a fun experience, one I can check off my list of hilarious things to do/see in my lifetime, much like the I-want-to-drive-a-big-ol'-RV experience of a year ago (which you can catch here and here, in case you missed it). Loads o' fun. I highly recommend it for great entertainment. There were lots of families there, but I'd have to put out a word of caution that it might be more of a PG-13 experience, what with the colorful language when things got heated on the rink. And the violence. I'd have to go out in a suit of armor before I'd ever join up.

Although much of this was written somewhat tongue-in-cheek, I have to give mad props to the roller girls. They were totally rockin' it out there, and I had a wicked good time. I secretly would love to be a roller derby girl.

My favorite part was at the end of the night, walking past the booth of roller-girl-inspired-souvenirs for purchase. There was a t-shirt with the saying: "Rolling with my Oklahomies".

Love, love, loved it.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Have you had your random today?

It smells like Anthropologie at my house today.

That just makes me all kinds of happy.

My mom went on a little roadtrip this weekend, and since she was going to be near an Anthro, I put in a request for her to pick up a candle for me. I'm not normally a huge candle girl, but for years I've been meaning to buy one of the Anthro candles because the idea of my house smelling just like my favorite store is a pretty great one if you ask me. They are kinda pricey, in my opinion, but I'm hoping it will last quite a while. We had to guess on the right "scent" based on the two she told me over the phone, so I was thrilled to open up the jar today and find that I picked right.

Oh so right.



You remember how I mentioned that I am not a big fan of Christian music?

Maybe I'm being tested on that one because today I discovered a few more hidden gems on a new (new-to-me) blog. Have you heard of any of these albums before? (I prefer saying albums, sounds much better than CD's to me.)

First off is this series by Enter the Worship Circle -- Chair & Microphone, Volumes 1, 2, & 3.

album cover from Volume 3

From there (on iTunes) I clicked over to listen to a little of Sarah McMillan -- Under Your Bright Wings.

Which led me to click over to Jacob and Lily -- The Cathedral.

Then I clicked on this gem by The Blackthorn Project -- The Bluing of the Sky.

And then I found this dude, Josh Garrels. (Check out his song "All Creatures" -- so cool.)

Slowly but surely, I am beginning to change my mind about some of what's considered Christian music. So many of these artists are pushing the envelope on what used to be considered contemporary Christian music, and I'm gonna tell you something, I really like it. The interesting thing about most of these albums is that, on iTunes anyway, they are not always categorized under the Christian tab, but instead as "Singer/Songwriter" music, which is usually filled with the new Indie artists I typically listen to. Hello, awesome! Sounds like the music I usually like, but with lyrics praising God, so it's a win-win situation for me.

Go check them all out when you get a chance. They can be found on iTunes (or I'm sure on Amazon as well), or you can check them out via each link I included. Another alternative is to check them out via Pandora, which, of course, literally opens Pandora's box as far as giving you even more similar music suggestions.


Tune in tomorrow for my super awesome hilarious first encounter with...

wait for it...

wait for it...

roller derby.

Oh, yeah.

PTQB February block #9

Colleen finished up this block for me, and I can't wait to get it in my hot little hands. I love the fabrics she added, and those octopi (surely that's a word, right, 'cause I sure as heck don't know the plural for "octopus") in the corners make me smile.

Monday, March 15, 2010

PTQB February block #8

February Bee Block
Originally uploaded by emptybobbin
Shea whipped up this little lovely. I love how each border seems to draw your eye outward (or inward towards the mermaids, depending on how you look at it). Thanks, Shea!

PTQB February block #7

PTQB2 - February - Valerie
Originally uploaded by mpfox223
Michelle came up with this creative block. I especially love the snippets of the characters you can see in the blocks that make up the outer border. Thanks, Michelle!

PTQB February block #6

This block is from Jody. Seriously, I am loving every single block...

Some assembly required.

Waiting on this Liberty of London beauty...

to arrive on my doorstep!

Oh, and here's hoping I'm tall enough to ride it...

Friday, March 12, 2010

March block for Sandy

Ooh, these are tricky little boogers.

Sandy has the month of March for our little quilting bee, and she picked the cathedral window block. I've made a few of these in the past, but they were all in the traditional way -- completely by hand. She gave us a link to a tutorial that showed how to do them on a machine, so this was a new technique for me to try.

If you don't know anything about cathedral window quilts, they are pretty unique. It's almost like mixing quilting with origami because there is not only sewing, but also folding involved. Another difference is the fact that there is no batting -- there is no "sandwich" made from the quilt top, batting, and backing. Each block (four squares) is complete on its own, so when they are connected to the other blocks, the quilt is done. Sandy had us add small flannel squares under each printed square to give it a little more substance since there is no batting.

The block took me a few hours to make, but there is a whole lot of satisfaction in the end when it looks like it is supposed to! (Not to mention relief. Who wants to screw up on someone else's project? Not me!)

The wild thing for me is thinking about entire quilts made in this fashion. The time involved to make a large cathedral window quilt is crazy! I actually have one in my possession from my grandmother, and every time I use it, I just can't get over the work involved. In my opinion, they are also some of the most stunning quilts out there.

The moral of the story is -- if you ever see one for sale in a flea market, antique shop, on ebay, whatever -- snatch it up! Each cathedral window quilt is a small treasure in itself.

And, because I am ever so humble {ahem}, I am going to give my normally-procrastinating-self a pat on the back for already getting this one done with two and a half weeks still left in the month. Unless you consider the fact that I was procrastinating on all the other things that needed to get done around my house in order to work on this quilt block today. Shoot. Forget the pat on the back...

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Love it.

This song has been on repeat over and over and over in my head today. Definitely a great message if you're going to get something stuck in your head. :)

Monday, March 8, 2010

What a hoot!

Yeah, so it's kinda cool to click through my favorite blogs and find one of my creations featured on another blog!

(Okay, so maybe featured isn't the best word since there are quite a few other pictures on the post, but heck, at least mine is one of them!)

Go check it out. The owl costume made the cut!

I'm happy. And I know it. Now I think I'll clap my hands.

You know how I love a good meme. (Um, why is it called that again?)

Heather left it open for anyone to tag themselves and participate...

10 Things That Make Me Happy

1.) Peace and quiet. (But not to be confused with "world peace" with the whole up-on-yer'-soapbox and elbow-elbow-wrist-wrist-wrist thing goin' on. You know, just in case that was a little confusing.) Believe it or not, I actually keep things super quiet in the house when I am by myself. Although I am a huge music connoisseur, most of the time I prefer things quiet. Like really quiet. Maybe because my profession in life is that of a musician? Who knows. All I know is, I love me some peace and quiet.

2.) Tulsa. I don't know what it is lately, but I've been experiencing a surge of civic pride. My jobs have had me darting in and around the downtown and northwest part of our little city over the past two weeks, and it has just made me realize even further what a fantastic little corner of the world I live in.

my own photo, taken during the "Top of the Town" fundraiser last summer where we got to go up to the top of several downtown buildings

3.) Clean sheets. I know what you're thinking. Well, duh, Valerie, who wants to sleep on dirty sheets? But really, what I mean is that first night after the bed has been made with freshly laundered sheets that are still crisp and warm and smell like the laundry detergent (or whatever you use). I always sleep the very best that first night after the sheets are changed. I love it so much I try and wash my sheets pretty frequently, probably more often than the norm.

unbelievably gorgeous photo borrowed from here: it reminds me of my grandmother's house and how we used to run in and out of the sheets drying on the clothesline in her backyard. There ain't nothin' like sheets dried in the sunshine. One of these days I will have myself a clothesline in the backyard.

4.) Country Living Magazine. I pretty much thought the world ended when Mary Engelbreit's Home Companion Magazine folded a while back, but Country Living has saved the day and rocked my world ever since. In fact, if that was the only style of decorating out there as an option, I'd be perfectly content. And if you're not already familiar with it, it's really not all that country like you might think. Now I just need an old farmhouse with a big covered porch to makeover with all of the ideas stewing in my head...

images via Country Living

5.) Roller skating. My 30th birthday party a few years ago {ahem} was a roller skating soiree, and it was one of the most fun afternoons of my life. Now that I am the parent of an almost school-aged kid, I've had the pleasure of taking him to a couple of roller skating parties where the parents were allowed to skate as well (thankyouverymuch), and boy howdy, have I had the time of my life flying around the roller rink. I may not be able to skate backwards or do any fancy moves, but I can skate forwards with the best of 'em. I {heart} roller skating. Who wants to invite me to go with them next?

image found here

6.) Making new friends. I don't know about you, but I get downright giddy when I get to make new friends. It's just as exciting to me now as it was when I was a little kid and made a new buddy. This past week, I got the opportunity to meet up with some super cool gals that share a common interest -- quilting! We had our first meetup of the Tulsa Modern Quilt Guild (part of the national organization), and I can't tell you how exciting it was to meet more girls in the flesh that shared the same love of quilting. I have made lots of friends out in BlogLand that like to quilt, but I really haven't met too many in my real life, so this was just super exciting for me. We all sat around and chatted it up about fabrics, favorite sewing blogs, favorite designers -- and no one made fun of us or called us grannies! Ha!

We bring the cool to quilting. Haha. From left: Meredith, Lauren, myself, and Sydney

7.) My scooter. My poor neglected scooter. I hope to get out on her pretty soon here, now that the gorgeous weather is upon us, and Lady Spring is just around the corner. I sure do love that feeling of the wind in my hair, the hilarious looks I get from passing cars, and the feeling of sheer freedom. And speed. {Ahem}.

No, my hair isn't that short anymore. Shows you how long it's been since my poor scooter and I were last acquainted. {Sigh.} And not to worry -- I always wear my helmet when I ride, just not in pictures.

8.) Little boys who bend down to blow air on their Mama's toes after she painted them with pretty nail polish. Ha!

9.) Indie music. Ya'll already know of my fascination with the lesser known artists out there, trying to break into the industry. I'm telling ya', that's where the gems are found. So much great music out there!

10.) Senior citizens. Love 'em. To pieces. No matter how crotchety. This is probably due to the fact that I grew up with four grandparents (a grandmother, another grandmother, a grandfather, and a great-grandmother) in my life up through my college years, all within my same city, and all of whom I saw on a very regular basis. They've all passed on, and I miss them dearly, and I do not take it for granted that I was fortunate enough to have so many great people in my life. Just being around senior citizens makes me thrilled. To hear their voices, to hear their stories, to see them shuffle slowly across a parking lot, to smell their familiar smells (haha, even the mothballs) -- I'll take all of it. So, that being said, who wants to adopt me as their honorary grandkid? I'll even quilt and play Skip-Bo with ya'!

Okay, kids, you know how this works. Tag yourself if you want to play along! Be sure and mention it in the comments so I can read your list, too.

Friday, March 5, 2010


I read a lot of blogs.

A lot.

Of blogs.

If I told you how many are in my Google Reader, well, let's just say you might give me a hard time about it.

Moving on.

One of my favorite photography blogs I read is Tara's. I've read it for a couple of years, and she never fails to inspire with her amazing photography and storytelling. In fact, back before I was truly sucked into the blogging world and only read a few blogs, I got the idea from her site to hang a chandelier in a tree for the background of our family photo one year.

Oh, you can imagine the strange looks we got, but thankfully my good photographer friend was up for the nutty idea, and it ended up being one of my favorite photos.

Anyway, like I said, she pretty much always has such cool things to blog, and this week, she put up a post that had me falling out of my chair.

Coolest photo shoot ever.

Two friends decided they needed photos taken to celebrate their amazing friendship.

Amazing it must be, because when you see the pictures, you will be so jealous. The photos had me feeling all sentimental/nostalgic/warm and fuzzy, not just for their sheer beauty, but also because they made me think of the amazing friendships God has blessed me with in my own life. From the best friend I shared a necklace with in elementary school (I had the "stends" part, she had the "befri") to the women that have walked through many a life experience with me in recent years -- all of the women whose friendships have been woven into my own journey of life so far. And not just the ones in real life, but even the friends I have made via this crazy little world we call the Internet -- I'm grateful for every one of you as well.

So who wants to put on fun pink frocks with me and get our pictures taken? Or heck, matching Converse?



Thursday, March 4, 2010

Spontaneous crafting -- you should try it.

I almost forgot.

This is supposed to be a somewhat crafty blog, right? About crafts?

Well, then, here you go.

A couple of weeks ago, my son was invited to a five-year-old birthday party for a girl, and instead of running to Target (like I usually do), I thought, I should make her present. Actually, last year I had made the same girl a superhero cape -- pink with a Supergirl symbol on one side, purple with a crown and her initial on the other side -- which she loved. And most little girls love fun homemade things!

Right? Riiiiiiight?

(Just lie if you don't agree. I don't want to know.)

Anyway, I have seen tons of cute little covered notebooks on various blogs here and there, and I thought, oh, I can do that!

Snicker, snicker.

Then I got to thinkin' (a dangerous pastime), and I figured I should opt for some sort of a covered sketchbook since my son and his fellow Pre-K cohorts don't really know how to write a whole lot yet. So I went to Michael's and picked up two Crayola brand sketchpads (using a coupon) for less than $2 each. And I grabbed some random girly looking fabrics from my stash (hello, FREE!) and set out to make some sort of a contraption off the top of my head.

Unfortunately my ideas in my head were a bit loftier than the actual reality of just randomly making something up, so in the end, after much fussing and ripping and lots of dadgummits, the finished product ended up a whole lot different than what I had originally imagined. It's a good thing you're not looking real close so you won't see all the stupid issues I ran into. I'm not known for figuring out things the easy way, so if I had it to do all over, I would've changed quite a bit. And if I tried to retrace my steps and remember how in the heck I made it in the first place, well, it's a lost cause.

Regardless, here it is. More of an "art tote" that opens up like a book (using the buttons and ponytail holder idea similar to my coffee cozies) and stores two sketch pads. I bought the pencils and stickers and erasers at Michael's as well. Total cost for the project: somewhere in the ballpark of $6 or $7.

Hopefully she liked it.

Solid potato salad.

Saw this on NieNie today.

So random. Worse than me (the random video, not NieNie, that is), and I can be quite random.

Not sure what "solid" potato salad is (as opposed to liquid, I guess?), nor am I sure what singing about potato salad has to do with weird and freaky acts of body contortionism, but hey, it's entertaining.

And I do love me some good ol' fashioned entertainment.

Have you bought your tickets yet?

I have.

Imax 3D, baby.

Can't wait!

Kinda like What Not to Wear...

...but for blogs!

If you read my blog via Google Reader (or any other blog subscription service), be sure and click over to my actual blog page so you can see the MAKEOVER!

Just in time for spring, this ol' blog got a little makeover, courtesy of the talented Kathy. Be sure and check out her work. She took my ideas and really ran with them. Don't you love my new header?

Thanks, Kathy!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

PTQB February block #5

PTQB2 - Valerie (Feb)
Originally uploaded by teacher.lady
Sandy came up with this one. Aren't those colors along the side just dreamy?

I {heart} Gungor.

Tonight I went to one of the COOLEST concerts I've ever been to, let alone the fact that it was a Christian music concert.

Thank goodness for blogs, specifically Shannon's awesome photography blog (otherwise I would have never known about this band). Thanks, Shannon!

And thank goodness for the fact that I was very spontaneous the day I read about these guys and went ahead and bought two tickets.


I am a FAN.

And you know me, I am not usually a big fan o' Christian music.

Too cheesy.

Too much in a bubble for me usually.

But Michael Gungor and his posse?

They've got it down.

Real good.

I can only describe this concert as this:

a little bit of

Pink Martini (you know, one of my most favorite bands evah) with their mini-orchestra thing they've got going on

cross it with

a little bit of Sting and his cool factor and smooth voice and jazz thrown in here and there for good measure

and mix it up with

maybe a little Cirque du Soleil as far as the cool orchestrations and harmonies that sound kind of like the coolest movie soundtrack music you've ever heard

and maybe spin in some

Sigor Ros or Sufjan Stevens

and blanket it in

ANTHROPOLOGIE, and no I am not kidding, the girls in the band (stringed instrument players and vocalists) looked like they walked straight out of an Anthro catalog

and a sprinkling of

poetry and multimedia video going on in the background

and a whole lot of awesome lyrics all about


and well, you had the concert.

Unfortunately I didn't get to stay for the whole thing. My mom ended up going with me due to the fact that my husband needed to finish up an important contract he was working on (she was supposed to be the babysitter), and since it was a bit on the loud side for her, we scooted out after about an hour and a half.

But seriously, I could've sat there for days.

So so so cool.

So cool.

Check 'em out for yourself. This first video very much describes what we experienced tonight.

And this video is clever and makes me smile:

And then go support them on iTunes. You won't be sorry.

In fact, you'll just be saying how grateful you are to read this quirky little blog o' mine because where else would you find out such amazingly random stuff?

You're welcome.

Did I mention how stinkin' cool it was?


I'll shut up now.

Monday, March 1, 2010

"Glee" on TOUR?????

Are you kidding me?

{Sigh.} This is one of those times I lived in a big city. Those tickets are gold!

PTQB February block #4

Jessica created this awesome block for my quilt. I love how unique each of these are, and once they are all collectively in a quilt, I just don't know if I can handle all the cuteness! This quilt is shaping up to be one of my favorites ever! Thanks, Jessica.