My blog brain broke


It has been a crazy quarter, and obviously blogging (and sewing) has taken a back seat. What I *haven't* shared...

I'm the associate director of our school and we are working hard on the transition from quarter to semesters. It's madness.

It's week 10 of the quarter. Which means next week is finals week. Ouch.

I have another tutorial over at Havel's.

I think I've sewn one thing in 10 weeks. I am going through serious withdrawal. I am going to a retreat next weekend. Can't wait.

I had a skin biopsy that came back positive, and had to have a bit of surgery. Two more to go in November.

The "one thing" I've sewn in the last 10 weeks, is a Captain Jack Sparrow costume for Jaxon (and a bit of my costume, too).

Captain "Jax" Sparrow

My costume, the inspiration, and one of my students (we dressed up for class!!)

And a close up of my TARDIS and sonic screwdriver.


Swapped, 80s style

My oh my, international post to New Zealand takes awhile -- almost 5 weeks! But now that I know the package has arrived, I can share!

The I Heart the 80s swap was so much fun! I spent way too much time listening to 80s music and watching clips of my favorite 80s movies on YouTube.

I received this fabulous package from quiltinkimmie:

I was so excited to get this "Sixteen Candles" wallhanging!! So brilliant! And Jaxon and I wrestled for the extras. The Kermit the Frog pillowcase is now on his bed...but I won the pop rocks! Thanks, Kimmie!

And I was excited to make for a blog friend, Viv!

It was time to cut up Charlie's childhood. Yep, that was one of his bedsheets. He gave it to me when he refused to allow me to cut into the Star Wars sheets. I thought Viv would appreciate it, along with a friendship bracelet I whipped up, a set of PacMan crayons from Etsy, and some pop-a-point pencils (my favorite 80s writing utensil).

I embroidered around PacMan and the ghosts, and then quilted the whole thing with X-es in the pellets. I hope you like it, Viv!

I also stocked up on 80s-themed crafts, just in case we needed a swap angel. The rubic's cube tissue box cover is presently on my cutting table, and the Mr. T embroidery hoop is going to be hard to part with, although I do need to do a five year blogiversary giveaway soon!

-- Post From My iPad


In a blink

It's hard to believe I started this blog almost 5 years ago. And in the very first post this is the very first photo I posted of Jaxon:

And this was yesterday:

Jaxon's first day by modernjax
Jaxon's first day, a photo by modernjax on Flickr.

Kindergarten. My blog and my baby are all grown up.

Thanks for sticking around!


Come on over...

I've been hoping you would visit!

We can snack on some fresh tomatoes from the garden. Please. And while we are at it, you can take home a few pounds of zucchini!

It's been storming off and on all day, so we can sit in the dining room and catch up. I just mopped the floors and put down a new rug. I don't know how long it will go without having chocolate milk spilled all over it, so let's enjoy it while we can.

Oh, there's the oven timer, the peach cake is done! I have an abundance of peaches getting soft, and I love a good peach dessert! Charlie isn't a fan, so eat as much as you can!

Michelle isn't one to miss a party, and she has traveled a long way, so I'll let her rest* on my SHAG WDW pillow**...

...and maybe have a drink* out of a SHAG WDW tumbler**...

...or you can stare longingly* at my SHAG WDW map print.**

Why all the domesticity you might ask? Anything to keep my mind off Jaxon's first day of kindergarten tomorrow. He's no longer a baby!

* No resting, drinking, or staring longingly on/from/at/near my SHAG merchandise please!

** SHAG (AKA JoSH AGle) is my favorite artist. The day after I returned from Disney World, I read that SHAG had produced a line of artwork commemorating WDW's 40th anniversary. He would be at the Magic Kingdom signing autographs later that week. Exactly 3 days after I got home. *sigh* I couldn't get his autograph, but Disney mail-order helped me out with some merchandise. By "helped" I mean took an exorbitant amount of my money and shipped said merchandise to me. I'm still pining for the charm bracelet and Hawaiian shirt.


Did I blog about this?

Do you do that? Do you take photos of some little thing, thinking "this will be great for a post," and then never get around to blogging about it?

I do. A lot. My iPhoto is riddled with photos of events and small projects I never got around to posting. I have a folder of color corrected photos sitting on my desktop ready for blogger. But I am usually on to the next big thing.

Here's a couple of small things I came across recently that I never shared with you.

A tried my hand at making salsa verde. Our health center emailed a recipe, and because it is my favorite of the salsas at Casa I had to try it. Not as good as Casa's, but still pretty good.

I made Jaxon's friend Evelyn a bandana dress for her cowgirl-themed birthday. I used this tutorial, but modified it to accommodate a lining. After washing (which I deemed necessary due to the stiffness of the cotton), the pink bandana seemed a little thin. The other problem with pre-washing bandanas? Shrinkage. Which isn't that big of a deal, there's still plenty of fabric for coverage, but is it too much to ask that two matching bandanas shrink uniformly? I will try to get a photo of Evelyn wearing her dress, I hear from her mom she quite likes it.

I can't type the word "shrink" without typing "shrinky" and having to delete the "y." Why is that? I don't often type "shrinky dinks." Or ever. Shrinky.

Now I want to make shrinky dinks.

edited to add: I had a request from a no-reply commenter for the salsa verde recipe. Here it is -- I hope you come back and find it!


My baby!

So the sneaky peek of the Accuquilt box from last post was the result of me WINNING. Yep, me and Charlie Sheen -- only my life involves a love of fabric and thread, not prostitutes and illegal drugs. Apples and oranges.

You've probably noticed Accuquilt Go Baby giveaways happening around the blogosphere. I had entered many of them with no luck. Then the stars aligned and I won Amber's giveaway. I think some Tiki spirit was helping me -- Amber lives in Hawaii.

I won the Go Baby and three dies of my choice. I selected the 2.5" strip die, the apple core die, and the Sparkle Christmas tree die. I'm going to be putting that Christmas tree on everything.

And so far I am loving it! The CMQG is taking part in the Habitat challenge, so I whipped out my apple core die. So easy, Jaxon could do it fresh from the bath!

I noticed that while the retail price is about $140, the Go Baby is about $77 on Amazon!

-- Post From My iPad



Lots of stuff filling our days....

...including a guild meeting where I presented a design board of the new logo...

...a quick trip to the beach for me and Jaxon...

...where Jaxon stayed dry by sitting on Pops's shoulders...

...and a box waiting for me when I got home...

...which I will tell you all about this week!

In the meantime, I have a new tutorial up at Havel's....magnetic bookmarks. Please check it out!

-- Post From My iPad


Wonky Zips

If I had a band I would call it Wonky Zips.

My mom made me this dress, and while I think it's super cute (almost as cute as Jaxon in his Frank shirt and briefs), the zipper is a bit defective and sticks horribly. In fact, I've only been able to wear the dress once, and haven't been able to get the zipper past the halfway point since.

I've read online to use bar soap or pencil lead to lubricate the zipper. Have any of you tried this to success? Any other ideas?

I found this video and find it hysterical.That dude isn't getting his un-lubed q-tip anywhere near that zipper.

WAIT, that's my band name -- un-lubed q-tip. Anyone want to join?



My baby is 5! He continues to be an enigma wrapped in a riddle. At home he is a tornado of energy (and VOLUME); around new people he is silent. He will jump as high as he can on the bed, but put him near a pool and he becomes clingy and afraid. Apparently I am raising a bit of an introvert. But you never would have guessed it from the whirlwind of activity he and his friends produced this weekend!

After our trip to Disney, Jaxon settled on a Mickey Mouse birthday party. I might have gone a bit overboard.

Lessons learned: four- and five-year-olds don't care about handmade decorations, and the time I spent making Mickey Mouse ears would probably have been better spent making cookies -- but a good time was had by all (including my sweet Samantha who camped out by the table waiting for the kids to drop food!).

And the winner is....

I slipped away for a bit to celebrate Jaxon's birthday, but I am finally back to announce the winner of the Havel's giveaway!

And the random number generator chooses #7, which corresponds to....

April (Polkadot Sparrow)

Congratulations, April! I've emailed you for your address.


Good News Giveaway

You might have gathered from the above video that I have good news. You would be correct.

I am now a professional blogger! No, I have no plans to quit my day job, but I will be posting a few tutorials for Havel's Sewing. Don't know Havel's? They make great lightweight scissors and cutting tools.

My first tutorial is for my pineapple quilt from a few months ago. You remember, this one:

Pineapple Power by modernjax
Pineapple Power, a photo by modernjax on Flickr.

Check out my tutorial at Havel's, and if pineapples aren't your thing, you can adapt this technique, as I did for this peacock mug rug:

Just follow steps 12 - 22 using peacock-inspired fabrics for the "petals." Download this pdf to applique the peacock's body to his feathers (feel free to email me for more in depth instructions). To complete, just add a strip of background fabric to the bottom of the peacock and back, quilt and bind. Done!

Don't feel like making a peacock? Today's *someone's* lucky day! Enter the giveaway to win the peacock mug rug AND my favorite Havel's product: Dura Snips! I wear these around my neck whenever I'm sewing – they are great for snipping threads and I always know where they are!

Want to win?? Leave a comment here telling me what you would like to see as a tutorial. Also, blog or tweet (using @modernjax in your tweet) for an additional entry (come back here and add a comment to let me know you've posted). Don't forget, I need a way to contact you if you win -- no email address means no entry! You have until Friday July 8 at 5:00 EST to enter.

Also, feel free to comment on my tutorial at Havel's letting them know you like what you see (if, of course, you like what you see!). Thanks, friends!

PS I love how the peacock finished -- I added hanging corners and used Anne Marie's all machine binding technique. Easy Peasy!

PPS Happy 4th of July! We are avoiding the crowds and planning on watching the festivities from our backyard with a campfire and s'mores! Yum!


June Photo Scavenger Hunt: The Disney Edition

We've been home from vacation for almost two weeks and I'm just feeling settled in. Isn't that always the way -- back to the grind plus vacation laundry, catching up on the mail, blogs, email, and you need a vacation from your vacation!

I tried to get shots at Disney that would work for June's photo scavenger hunt. Let's see how I did!

A Childhood Memory:

Main Street and Cinderella's Castle at the Magic Kingdom

Jaxon and my nephew Marcelo with Mickey, The Polynesian Hotel


Pirates of the Caribbean merchandise, Magic Kingdom

Spears at the entrance of Adventureland, Magic Kingdom (and some random dude adjusting his sunglasses)

Something beginning with "z:"

It's a Small World, Magic Kingdom

A wheel trim:

It's a Small World, Magic Kingdom (okay, not really a wheel)

Jaxon at Animal Kingdom (kind of lame for "wheel trim," but a cute kid!)


The Star Tours ride at Hollywood Studios (it's always night in space, right?)

A farm animal:

Miss Piggy, the center of attention at Hollywood Studios

Architectural detail:

Cinderella's Castle, Magic Kingdom

Tree of Life, Animal Kingdom

Tiki Room (closed for renovation), Magic Kingdom

Tree branches:

Safari ride, Animal Kingdom

Lightning McQueen and Mater Topiaries, Epcot


Safari ride, Animal Kingdom

Topiary, Magic Kingdom

BIL David and nephew Marcelo, Magic Kingdom

Something with your town's name on it:

A very nice cast member who didn't mind me taking a photo of his name badge, Magic Kingdom

The view right outside your door:

The view outside Cinderella's door -- I really struggled with this one, as I don't actually live at Disney World ;-)


Pizza Planet, Hollywood Studios

Today is our wedding anniversary -- 10 years -- but I will be back soon with a few more photos and maybe some actual sewing!

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