Saturday, May 21, 2016

Zodiac BOM: Gemini Block

Not sure what happened with the last few months... oh wait, yes I do. I wrote about it in my last post. :/ (ps. THANK YOU for ALL of your LOVE! Comments, and support!! You are the BEST!! seriously. You lifted my spirits and opened my eyes to the world of food intolerance. I had NO idea it was such a common issue. Hugs to all of you! Though that is a different blog post for another day. But I couldn't NOT say thank you! So Thank you! again.) Anyway, as I was saying... I totally missed sharing the Aries block AND the Taurus blocks for the Zodiac BOM. I guess I'll save those for another day as well. ;)


But for TODAY I do want to share my  

Gemini block

 I LOVE these Sandi Henderson prints and colors together! For some reason this color of pink makes me think of strawberry ice cream... and I want to lick it!!


ok, now wipe off your screen so you can read the rest of this post. ;)


Would you like to look at more pictures??? of course you do.

Here is a little mock-up I made a while ago of some different design options for an all Gemini quilt.


These blocks are so versatile. I love it! AND I need more time to make all the variations!


For mother's day my hubby bought me some fabric (let me clarify: I bought it he wrapped it up. It's progress. I'll take it! ps. He's the best!!!) I chose a bundle of 1Canoe2's Tucker Prairie! It's SO gorgeous! I LOVE her style!!


Anyway, I decided to make a quilt with it using my Gemini block and my Taurus block together. I think this is how I want it to look, but I'm not 100% convinced.

What do you think? Should I make this?
I do love how well the blocks go together!


AND one more...


Here are all of my finished quilt blocks so far for the Zodiac BOM. 
I can't wait to fill in the rest of the blocks to see how the colors come together.



If you are already making Zodiac blocks, make sure to add #fbpZodiacBOM to your photos on Instagram! I love to see them!! And the blocks people are making are AMAZING!! Definitely check out the link! Or you can share your photos in my facebook group (I'm still figuring out the whole facebook group thing, so it's kind of boring, but soon it will be awesome!!!) ;)



If you HAVEN'T purchased the Zodiac pattern yet, here's a GREAT opportunity to do so!


I'm having a FLASH SALE for the next 24 hours!!  
$5 off!

But, even better than that...
 if you would like to join my newsletter, you can add an extra awesome discount on top of that!! You'll receive the code as soon as you sign up, and it works in my shop as well as on Etsy! :)


"DON'T DOUBLE DIP!" 

Oh wait, that only goes for food! 

"DOUBLE DIP! DOUBLE DIP!"


I will have my best coupons in my newsletter, so if that's something you like be sure to sign up. And make sure to use 
to do so, so you can get the code! 

If you already signed up, YOU ROCK! But sign up again with that link so you can get the discount too! (that will be the easiest way to get it) Don't worry, I won't send you double the emails if you sign up again. (and I don't spam! It'll be more like not enough emails than too many!) ;)


Thanks everyone for reading along and checking out my block! :) You are the best!
I hope you are having fun creating beautiful things!


Have a great weekend!

Diane

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Don't Tell Me that You're Hungry.

I have suddenly come down with a lot of different food allergies, and saying it has been a rough ride is an understatement. I love eating fresh healthy foods, so it's been a blessing as I'm *forced*  to eat them. As a teen, I was a vegetarian for over 4 years, so changing my diet and having diet restrictions isn't really an issue. Except for the fact that I currently can't eat ANYTHING. No dairy, no gluten, not even my oatmeal, no butter, no eggs, no cinnamon, no vinegar, and who knows what else... I'm still trying to figure it all out.

The other day I told my husband that I seem to constantly be in a state somewhere between hungry and starving. "Oh", he replied. I think he finally started to understand why I get so angry when people come up to me and tell me they are hungry. "you don't know hungry", I think to myself.  I've lost about 6 pounds. I've eaten variations of the same two meals twice a day for the last two weeks, with a few other things here and there. I'll tell you what, I make a killer bean and rice and veggie taco!

Looking for food to eat is frustrating and discouraging. If it has eggs, milk, or butter in it, I can't eat it. If it's a salad, I can't eat it with dressing, which makes it rough. Dry salads are hard to swallow. Bread is out, even chocolate is out. I'm not even sure if I can eat it with traces of milk or whatever in it. If it's dairy free it has gluten, if it's gluten free it has eggs, or if it's free of everything else, there is cinnamon.

I was doing fine with the multi grain cheerios, and then suddenly one day I wasn't! Same thing with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I had two bites left and I had to spit the piece out that was in my mouth because it was like my body didn't want to open up and let it in. I could not swallow.

And just so it's clear, I am having actual allergic reactions. I'll admit that I've rolled my eyes at all the hype of gluten free diets. I don't doubt that it makes people feel better when they find foods that are right for their bodies, but you can't deny it's definitely a trend right now. But when I eat cinnamon my tongue swells instantly, my heart races, my breathing gets shallow, and in rushes the panic and I feel like I'm going to die! Same thing with dairy. Even milk chocolate chips, or cheese, same with salad dressings and Mayo. My tongue even swelled with veganese - dairy free/vegan mayo.

It now makes me angry when I find a website that is about healing or clean eating, and it's all about losing weight! I don't want to lose weight. I'm not here for appearances. I just want to live. I just need something to eat. I become bitter.

Looking for recipes is a heart breaker! Yesterday I thought I found the jackpot on Pinterest! "Just look at all these dairy free gluten free recipes!! And then I started reading, "1 egg - egg substitutes won't work in this recipe", "cinnamon", "vinegar", "vinegar", "vinegar". More eggs, milk, there is nothing free of everything. I'm sure I could make substitutions in some, but I'll save that for another day. It was too discouraging to tackle for that day.

So off to the food co-op I go on a search for ANYTHING I can eat.

First I look in the bakery. Finally something gluten free, "contains: egg". Everything has egg. There is a list of the daily gluten free beads, but one isn't on the counter to see what the ingredients are, so I ask. "nope, it doesn't have eggs or dairy." I think he was surprised by my response of gratitude. They bake that bread on Sunday and Wednesday. "I'll have to wait. Don't forget!!" I LOVE bread!! There's hope! I look around some more. Cookies! I would love a cookie! They all contain eggs or dairy, or if neither of those, cinnamon. I start to cry in the isle.

I finally find some bread I can eat in the frozen section. $5.76 for a small loaf. So expensive. I put it in the cart. I turn around, gluten free dairy free pizza!!!! My mouth waters. $8.59. I don't care, I put it in the cart. Veggie fries made from carrots and potatoes. I put them in the cart. Dairy free ice cream! Look at all those flavors! It's more expensive than talenti. The cherry amaretto goes in the cart.

The store is about to close so I go checkout. Ug. I've already spent way over our food budget last time I came here to buy some supplements, gluten free flour and chocolate chips ($5.76 a bag!) (I had to make and bring my own muffins to Jackson's Mom's and Muffins event in kindergarten this last week). On to the credit card it goes. There goes our goal of getting our of debt. It's discouraging on every level.

I hurry home to put everything in the freezer before I go to the regular store to buy food for the rest of my family. "I can't eat it, so why do I have to buy it" I think to myself with a hint of bitterness. Because I love my family and it's my responsibility, that's why. Salt in the wounds.

I hurry and open up the ice cream to have a few bites before I leave again. Yum! That is good. I'm about to go out the door and my tongue is swollen. Tears roll down my cheeks. (What is even in there that I'm reacting to??) I guess I won't be finishing that.

At the store I buy the things my husband asked for. More apples and cucumbers. What something new I can add to my repertoire?! Strawberries aren't too expensive. I see a few people I know and try to put a smile on my face.

Back to home. I'm so hungry. I lay down on the couch and try to sob. Maybe I'll feel better if I let it all out. But the voice in my head criticizes myself and tells myself to suck it up. Lots of people have diet restrictions. I don't cry. I can't cry. I fall asleep.

Food has been a struggle. But that's not where the battle lies.

On our trip to Utah a few weeks ago my husband tells me, "you know how they say that men's hearts will fail them? I think your heart is failing you." It is. He was holding up a mirror and I could see it so clearly. Every time I am bitter, angry, feeling despair, or discouraged. My heart is hardening. My heart is failing me.

The heart is about faith. Hope. Being cheerful despite the circumstances. Being grateful. I feel like my world is crushing down around me.

We made so much progress in our financial goals, and I feel like just trying to stay alive has knocked our knees out from under us. The expensive foods and ingredients. The doctor bills and lab work. The impulse spending that is a tough battle for me personally to fight when I'm tired and weak and discouraged.

Wanting things different in my life, like my husband getting the needed raise, or getting a house with a fenced in backyard so I can let my 3 year old outside to play with his siblings. Wanting to work on my business so I can bring in the extra money that we need, but I'm too tired and don't have the energy or the desire. Watching my kids struggle in school and wanting to quite my job so I can cut out the balancing act (and the stress) and be able to give them more of my time and attention. Wanting to be closer to a temple so I can go and get the much needed refuelling in my life - because now it just means that much more time that I'm away from my family, and it's still too long to be away from my baby. Wanting to get out of debt so bad it hurts!

I don't think any of my desires are extreme or unrighteous. And while I try to have faith in better things to come, my hope for them is almost non existent. I'm tired of wondering if we're going to move or stay. I'd be fine with staying, but the university underpays all their employees, so we can't plan on it.

I try to have faith, I try to be positive. I read my scriptures every morning, and am filled with messages and lessons that are just for me, that never would have stood out if it weren't for my current circumstances. I know I am blessed. I know I'm being watched over. My head reaches the top of the water and I gasp for air. I listen to conference talks or inspiring talks. More air enters my lungs and the day gets brighter. I pray, and I find strength and hope. There is some joy in my step. My husband gives me blessings and I think my head is entirely above the water.

Then the kids fight, or everyone is impatient and snappy. The house is a mess. I have too many projects to finish. I'm hungry. I hit a wall and I'm so tired I can't keep my eyes open. My head drops again below the water and I fight for air. I'm so tired. I'm so tired.

Is it over yet? Isn't this just a dream? Where did April go? I don't even remember it. Life is a haze. My mind is in a fog. I can't think straight. I get on Instagram and they changed it... Where are all the pictures? Where are all my friends? No one is liking my pictures. How am I going to let people know about the sale on my destash? I need to sell it all to pay the bills. I need to work harder. I need to be a better mom. I need to be happy and have faith. I need to do my calling and help others. I need to fake it when I go outside because no one wants to talk to the struggling girl. No one wants to be friends with the girl that isn't happy. I'm all alone.

I think they are all lies. I want them to be, but I believe them anyway. What am I doing wrong that we can't seem to secure the blessings my heart desires? What do I need to fix or change? Those are lies too. Hardships don't come because of our faults or unrighteousness. They come because this is life. Well, can't I sit this one out?!

I struggle to get out of bed. I struggle to find something to feel grateful for. For something to look forward to that day. I'm grateful for a lot of things. I see miracles and blessings all around me. But my heart is hard and they don't soften my struggles like they should. I don't feel anything.

Instead I sit. And tears roll silently down my cheek. I pray desperately for something. Anything. And blessings come. But I continue to struggle.

I wish I had a message of hope and encouragement to share. I wish I had something to say to lift another.

I could share the scripture in Matthew, where the Lord said come follow me, and find rest. My yoke is easy and my burden is light. How? How do I yoke myself with Christ? Or how about the script in 1 Nephi 3:7, that the Lord gives no commandment save he prepares a way for us to accomplish that which He has commanded. What is the way for me to keep the commandments?! How do I have faith and hope and have gratitude in my current circumstances? Or what about the scripture in Mosiah, where the Lord makes the burdens of the people of Alma light, that they cannot feel them upon their backs, and they are cheerful. How do I stay cheerful?

I read these scriptures and similar messages everyday. They are powerful. They are packed with hope and with promise. They help lift me up and give me air. But I can't seem to stay there. I want to. I would like to be happy. And yesterday I was. I felt joy. Life was good. And then I looked for recipes and found nothing but discouragement. The scales are so sensitive right now, and the balancing act too delicate. I can't wait to get off this dark side and be on the side with hope and peace and rest.

Until then I'll eat my beans and rice. I'll try that pizza and hope for the best. I'll share the ice cream with my family and watch the smiles on their faces, as tears roll down mine.

But I'll remember that I'm a mother. And I'll tell myself that mother is all about loving my children and despite what my world looks like, I'll create a world for them that is safe and happy and strong. A world where they feel loved. Where they are not alone.

It's not easy to give what I don't have. But I will try. And hopefully when they are old, they will understand and see that through my imperfections, I never stopped trying.

Today is mother's day. It's a hard day for me. Especially this one. As of late, Neil has been making me my favorite breakfast on any special occasion. Crepes with nuttella and bananas and whipped cream. That made every hard day a good day. But not today. Not again. I can't eat any of that now.

I don't want to go to church because I know they'll give me chocolate I can't eat. I don't want to go anywhere. I don't want to talk to anyone.

So the battle continues as I watch those small acts of love, that were really nothing but meant so much, pass me by. Wondering if there will be anything to take their place. Or if life will be left with un-fillable holes.

I would say happy mother's day, but I'm not feeling very happy. I hope I'm the only one. I hope everyone is feeling happy on this day. Though I know not everyone is. I know there are many with struggles, struggles that have many different faces.

So perhaps instead of a happy mother's day. I wish you love and comfort. May this day be a day where we can feel safe to share our struggles. Where we can be free to voice or sorrows and our pain. Where we can be united in not giving up but trudging along forward. Knowing we are not alone. Knowing that somewhere someone else is struggling, that someone else is battling sorrow, despair or discouragement. And realizing that our struggles are real, they are a part of us, they make us who we are, and they are nothing to look down upon. They don't make us less than someone else, they don't make us better than others. They just are.

We can unite as people who are living life the best we can. I send a hug to each of you! I hope you'll pause for just as minute and feel my tight embrace. Hear me whisper in your ear, "I know it's hard! I know it's hard. You can do it. Be brave. Have courage. Don't give up!! I love you! You are not alone." Because sometimes all we need is for someone to recognize. Recognize our heartaches and struggles, and hold us and tell us it will be OK. So for this mother's day, I give that to you. I pray that God will carry my love to your heart, and if even just for a moment you will feel comfort. You will feel love. And that you will remember this through the hard moments, to help you through.

I love you.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Birthday Week! Coupon and Surprise Sale!!

It's my birthday this week, and now that the week is half over.... oops, let's get this party started! ;)

If you signed up to receive my newsletter, you should have already received this info! But I want to be sure that no one misses out!

We just spent two weeks being sick, and now it's spring break, and I decided that a nice relaxing birthday week is in order this year. So I'm starting the week off with a coupon!

I'm turning 34 this year, and it feels pretty good! I don't feel young anymore, but I don't feel old either. I feel a greater sense of maturity as I emerge from some of life's trials, and although I feel a little bruised and banged up, it feels to have my feet underneath me and my head on my shoulders, and to feel in control of my future.

I actually had a really strange dream last night, that really doesn't have anything to do with anything, but I just have to share it. I dreamt that our house was right on the beach, so the back door opened up to the ocean. I came downstairs and the tide had risen so high that the waves and the ocean level were halfway up the windows and rising. I ran and told my hubby, and then I woke up in my dream. Like I dreamt it inside my dream. It was weird. So then I went and looked out the back door, and this was at night time, and the tide really was rising!! We had a bunch of towels that were starting to get washed away so I called for my hubby again to come help me, and I scrambled to pick up all the towels and shoes and things that were getting moved around by the waves. The tide was rising fast though, so I finally had to stop. Then I just watched as the water rose. Magically it didn't break the windows as the water rolled against the house. And magically there was only a very small leak in the door, and only a drip of water was coming in. (This was definitely not the house we live in now!!! It would have been flooded in seconds! lol) Anyway, So then I watched as the water rose above the windows and I could see things swimming around in the water. (And then for a moment there was a man that was getting pushed up again our house and all I could see were his red swimsuit and his legs. Weird!) So then I told my hubby that we all had to sleep upstairs because if the windows broke under the pressure I didn't want anyone to drown. So next scene, it was morning, and our house had broken away from the land and we were floating out in the ocean. We floated calmly for a while and then we were floating up a river with lots of buildings all around us. I wondered how in the world our house wasn't scraping along the bottom of the river! lol. It was so weird.

Anyway, if anyone is a dream interpreter, feel free to interpret! ;)


Alright, so since I'm turning 34, how about a 34% off coupon?! That's a pretty good deal!


Save 34% OFF everything in my shop!!

Use code: "BIRTHDAY34"
expires Friday March 18th at midnight

Code also works in my Etsy shop!



This is a great time to purchase some of the larger patterns, or a few different patterns, that you've had your eye on! Just saying! ;)


But the fun doesn't end there!

From March 19th to the 21st (Saturday to Monday) I am doing a surprise sale!

For this one time ONLY you can purchase each of the first three Zodiac BOM patterns individually! I've had a few requests for the individual patterns, and while they won't officially be available individually until December, here's your chance to get them without waiting! So if you don't want to buy the entire set (which is actually a mega steal!! Especially with the birthday coupon!) Be sure to mark your calendar!!

I started plugging my blocks into the Sampler Quilt Layout. I am really excited to finish filling it in!



 
Aquarius:
 

 
My Aquarius mini, using 4 - 9 inch blocks


Pisces:

 
 I would really LOVE to make this Pisces quilt! I need a little extra time for my birthday! ;)


and Aries:
 

 The Aries block won't be released until the 20th, so if you grab it this weekend, you'll actually be the first to get it! ;)

 The patterns will be available in my shop ONLY! You can find them HERE! Though they will only show up on March 19th, 20th, and 21st. Or you can find them by searching "sale" on my website.



ALSO, if anyone is interested, I'm having a BUY 3 get 1 FREE in my instagram destash account! For a LIMITED TIME ONLY! Just tag what you want, and I will mark every fourth item (of equal or lesser value) for FREE when I send your invoice! If you buy 8 items, you'll get 2 for free, and so on!

Thanks for helping me clear out my stash! :)
 


Alright, that's it! Now it's time to go relax... ;)
I hope you are all having a wonderful week!!

Diane

Thursday, February 25, 2016

My Shop is MOVING!

Due to some recent frustrations with my Bigcartel shop, as well as some added benefits with Shopify, I have decided to move my shop!!! It is a big, and I mean HUGE, undertaking, but it will be well worth it! And I'm REALLY excited!!

My NEW shop site is: fromblankpagespatterns.com

There are a lot of features I want to implement and use on Shopify, which will take some time to get it all up and running. I'm hoping to get it finished by the summer, crossing my fingers. I have put a lot of time in to moving all of my patterns over, and they are all now available in my new shop. But I'm still working on getting my own domain, so I hesitate to plaster it all over the interwebs before it's official.
BUT I do want to close down my Bigcartel shop as soon as I can, so I'm going to go ahead an announce this so you can download your patterns before I close up shop!!   
Shop is NOW CLOSED.

Updated to add: If you purchased patterns through Craftsy or Etsy, this does not affect you! You don't need to worry about downloading your patterns. They will always be available to you.

So... If you still have active patterns on Bigcartel, I invite you now to go download them and save them on your computer! I do have record of all purchases, so if you don't get them saved before I close shop, you can contact me and I will help you out. But PLEASE don't read that and think, "ok, then I'm not going to bother downloading my pattern!" It takes a lot of time away from my family to send out patterns individually, so I think if I get overrun by the masses, I might just ignore my inbox - not that I will, but I hope you will help me out and be responsible for your purchases and the money you have spent.

I sure do appreciate your support, for purchasing my patterns, for your friendships and encouragement! What started out as a small side project to help my family while my husband was going through school has turned into a growing business!! I find myself pinching myself at times, thinking "I'm just little ol' me! How did this even happen?!" I'm completely overwhelmed and grateful!

I feel like this change, and the changes to come, are a huge move for me in my life. I've been sitting on the fence for the last year or two trying to decide if I'm an official business, if I actually do *work* from home, or if it's still just a *hobby*. I've been contemplating if I'm really a *quilter*, or if this is just a phase I'm going through in life and wondering if I'll move on to some other hobby in a few years from now.

But what I see in the near future definitely seems to cement my place in this great quilting community! I want to shout to the interwebs, "I'm OFFICIAL!" lol. "I'm also a huge dork!" ;) But I'm really excited! And it feels good to have a set direction, and to no longer be teetering back and forth.

Some changes I'm hoping to implement sooner rather than later are
  • Offering my patterns in printed form
  • which leads to offering wholesale patterns to quit shops
  • more quilt patterns, rather than just paper piecing patterns
  • more sewing patterns for projects and patterns I've already written up but haven't published
  • redo my older patterns and bring them up to par with my improved pattern writing style
  • remake all my patterns to provide better examples and better photos (though that doesn't really affect anyone so much as it's just something I really need to do).
  • I'd love to get into embroidery and hand stitching patterns
  • and more
Anyway, those are just some of the things I'm looking into and working on. The first two are definitely top on my list! And I'm hoping to squeeze in time for everything else. My planner is going to become my best friend! (I'm so much more productive with a written plan!) ;)

Anyway, so if you want to check out my NEW SHOP and let me know what you think so far, I'd love your opinions! As well as let me know if you see any problems that I missed.

I'd love to move my blog over  there too... so much to do. Anyway, I'll still be selling my patterns on Etsy as well as Craftsy, but this will be my big link to site from now on. :)

and that's it!
Thanks again!
and don't forget to download your patterns! I'm going to close my bigcartel shop by next week so I don't have to pay for another month. So don't delay!


Diane







If you're interested in setting up a shop on Shopify, be sure to check it out!

http://1.shopifytrack.com/aff_c?offer_id=2&aff_id=3122




Blog post contains affiliate links.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Zodiac BOM: Pisces Block

Today is the first day of Pisces, and I just sent out the emails including the Pisces pattern! I'm so excited and can't believe it's already time to release the second pattern of the Zodiac Block of the Month club! Where has this year gone already?! Anyway...

I'm excited to share with you my Pisces block that will go in my sampler quilt.


I had originally planned for different fabrics in the center, but it was way too busy. I'm really liking the combination of solids and prints, as well as the white. I wasn't planning on using so much white, but I think this will be nice. :)

Here are my two blocks so far. I need to crop them so I can see how they look right next to each other, but this is gives a quick idea. I'm liking it so far! :)



I have absolutely LOVE seeing everyone's blocks popping up on Instagram! Thanks for sharing!! and keep 'em coming!!


If you haven't joined in, but would like to, I am doing a

 ONE DAY ONLY SALE
 on the Zodiac BOM pattern!

The price is already reduced, so no coupon necessary.
You can purchase the pattern on Craftsy, Etsy or from my shop
(I've been having trouble with adjusting prices on Bigcartel, so you will need to use a coupon code to save $5, use code: PISCES5)

Don't delay, the price will go back up tomorrow night (Saturday night 1/20/16 PST).


If you purchased the Zodiac BOM pattern, but haven't been receiving the emails, please contact me so I can make sure I have you on my mailing list. Thanks!


Diane