Thursday, June 10, 2010

A New Page

After much consideration, I have decided to create a new blog. Thoughts During Walks has been a wonderful place for me to share my ideas and projects, what's going on with my family, keep up with friends, and make new ones.

Like me, Thoughts During Walks has evolved. It started as a crafting blog when Matthew was just a couple months old. Yes, I was busy with an infant, but I did have time to do quite a bit of crafting. Now, with two young children, I am busier than I thought I'd ever be! When I do have a couple moments to myself, I am often torn between reading, crafting, catching up on email, blogging, sleeping, and the list goes on. I have often felt pressure to create in order to have a subject for a post, which for me, is not a pressure that I like.

So, I started a new blog, one that I have been excited about and enjoy posting on. Contentedly Home will be in some ways much more personal, but in other ways not as personal as Thoughts During Walks has been. My focus will be on finding joys in the home, however small, and being at peace with this season of my life. There will be a spiritual aspect, and it will have more of a personal journaling feel. I will still blog about crafting, as it is something that is very important to me, but without the feeling of pressure. My children will still make their appearance at times, but far less often (mostly for security reasons).

Please join me in my new little space at! I cherish the friends I have made through this blog and hope to keep in touch. :)

Most sincerely,

Friday, May 14, 2010

I'm Back

Sorry about that--I got a little freaked out by some weird comments and messages sent through my Barefoot Books account. My mind started racing about stalkers, etc., and all of the personal info that's on this site. So, I made it private.

Then I started thinking that what's done is done. My personal info has been up here for about three-and-a-half years now! I enjoy blogging and have made some good friends here in the virtual world. In the future, I'll probably be a little more careful about posting pictures of my kiddos, info about where I live, or my last name. I want to focus on my crafting, reading, gardening, and other hobbies that make me happy.

I hope that you all haven't given up on me and my little space here!

Again, sorry about the abrupt absence.

Warm regards,


Sunday, April 18, 2010

Spring Crafting

I'm happy to report that my crafting mojo is back! However, my usual antics of starting multiple projects at once and flitting from one project to another is also back. Ah well, that's just the way I am. As the summer approaches, and the thought of Pat being home full-time for three months comes with it, I am constantly adding on to my "to do" list. My greatest desire is to really make this house a home and add my personal "Katie" touch to each room with handmade items. There is also some dark paneling that really needs to be painted over! So, I see much painting, sewing of curtains, and quilting of wall hangings in my future!

There are also several birthdays coming up! Ben's is May 3rd (I can't believe how quickly this year has passed!), mine is May 7th, and Matthew's is June 4th. I purchased some "Very Hungry Caterpillar" material to make into wall hangings for Ben's room, plus have plans for birthday decorations and a birthday crown for each boy. My goal is to make a (simple!) quilt for Matthew for his birthday, but I don't want to get ahead of myself too much yet. :)

Several weeks ago I received boxes of back issues of quilting magazines, fabric, and miscellaneous patterns from my mother-in-laws collection. I have since spent the weekends going through and organizing it all. The following picture is what my corner of the office/hobby room looked like on Friday (I have since cleaned it up fearing my husband would divorce me):

In one of the boxes were many small fabric scraps. I couldn't bear to throw them out, so I started investigating Crazy Quilting. I am really enjoying the handwork involved, as well as the endless possibilities of patch placement and embroidery. Coincidentally, I went into our local quilt store on Friday and was told there is a Crazy Quilting class starting next Saturday. There was one more spot left, so I signed up right away--an early birthday present to myself! :)

(Aren't the little apples so sweet?)

I've also started an afghan that was meant to go to a very special person to celebrate his college graduation a year ago. Oops! Hopefully I'll finish it by Christmas...

Monday, April 5, 2010

Spring Break

Last week we went on our first family-of-four trip to visit family in Tucson. The weather was absolutely gorgeous, and it was great visiting with our loved ones. I'm also happy to report that we all survived twenty hours in the car together! We tried to time the longer drives during naps, stopped plenty of times, and enjoyed listening to sing-alongs and read-alouds (courtesy of Barefoot Books). It was fun to do something different and get out of town, but I always enjoy coming home.

Of course I took some projects along for the ride, but I honestly hardly did any handwork at all. I was afraid that I lost my crafting mojo until I started looking through some of my mother-in-law's back issues of quilting/crafting magazines (my husband rescued them from the house before my FIL threw them away). Even though the magazines are anywhere from ten to thirty years old, there are some things that are simply timeless. I've been especially inspired by the quilted wall hangings and table runners. Perhaps there is some sewing in my future...

Family pic in front of the Catalina's (Matt was having a bit of a rough time)

Ben had just stuck some wood chips in his mouth--the little stinker!

Matthew loved playing in his uncle's trailer. There were many tears when it was time to leave.

Friday, March 19, 2010


Wow, I've been absent for a while! It seems like lately, after the boys have finally gone to bed, all I can do is stare at the computer and/or tv. Not much is going on upstairs. We have definitely been dealing with some sleep issues, and there have been a couple of personal issues I've been dealing with as well (nothing major, but my mind has just not been up for blogging).

The weather here has really been fluctuating. In one day it will snow several inches, melt a couple hours later, then the temperature will be in the 60s the next day. Ahh, spring in New Mexico! When it is nice, we've been trying to spend as much time as possible outside. Our daffodils are blooming, we pruned the fruit trees, and the grass is starting to slowly turn from brown to green. As I've mentioned before, this will be our first spring in this house. I'm excited to see what surprises will sprout in the coming months!

Today I sent out the package to my swap partner for the "Can't Wait 'til Spring!" exchange I hosted. I had a lot of fun putting the items together. The bag is a project I crocheted a while ago, but it went perfectly with the spring theme. I purchased the fabric charm pack at a local quilting store, and the book came from a local bookstore. I haven't read it, but it certainly looks interesting. I have already added it to my own reading list! I also included some all-natural diy spring cleaning recipes, as well as a couple of Burt's Bee's lip balms. I hope that my partner enjoys her package!

Let's see, I've also been bowling, experimenting with not wearing deodorant, planning our garden, reading Reading Lolita in Tehran for a book club, and trying to get organized for our first family-of-four vacation. We will be leaving for Tucson on Saturday for a five-day trip, so wish us luck! :)

I hope everyone is enjoying longer and warmer days!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Brotherly Love

Having a new sibling can be difficult, and we've had our fair share of jealousy and issues associated with Ben's arrival. Looking back, at 23 months old, Matthew was still a baby himself when Ben was born. Recently I've really been enjoying watching Matthew and Ben come to terms with each other. I'm sure they'll always have their moments, but I can already see their relationship blossoming as they interact more and more.

Dress-up has been very popular around our house lately. Matthew likes to tell us that he's "getting pretty." The other evening my mother told him, "no, honey, you're handsome." Matthew's response: "no, I'm pretty." I have to say that my husband, as a very masculine, football coach, meat and potatoes kind of guy, is taking all of this rather well. :)

Ben is the third little boy to wear the hat in the following picture. This kind of hand-me-down truly warms my heart. It makes me smile to think of the heads it's been on.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Going Barefoot

Three years ago (I can't believe how quickly time has passed!), when I was pregnant with Matthew, a parent of one of my students gifted me with the book, Welcome to the World. I have cherished it since, it is still on Matthew's bookshelf, and Matthew especially enjoyed discussing the pictures right around the time Ben was born. That was my first experience with Barefoot Books.

Several weeks ago we checked out some books at the county library, which is something the boys and I do just about every week. Because I have both boys with me and I don't want to drive the librarians too crazy, I often look up a subject in the card catalog, quickly find the call numbers and books, check them out, then read through them once we get home. Two weeks ago the subject we were interested in was "dinosaurs," and I ended up checking out I Dreamt I was a Dinosaur by Stella Blackstone. Matthew just loved it, and so did I. Being a crafty, fiber-loving person, I especially enjoyed the illustrations by Clare Beaton composed with felt, beads, ribbon and other embellishments. After reading it about ten times in a row to Matthew, I looked at the information at the back of the book and found that the publisher was Barefoot Books. The following information was also included:

"At Barefoot Books, we celebrate art and story with books that open the hearts and minds of children from all walks of life, inspiring them to read deeper, search further, and explore their own creative gifts. Taking our inspiration from many different cultures, we focus on themes that encourage independence of spirit, enthusiasm for learning, and acceptance of other traditions. Thoughtfully prepared by writers, artists and storytellers from all over the world, our products combine the best of the present with the best of the past to educate our children as the caretakers of tomorrow."

As a parent, former elementary-school teacher, and someone who just appreciates a high-quality book, I was intrigued. I started checking out more Barefoot Books from the public library and was met with literature and illustrations that met, if not exceeded, my expectations.

During this same time period Matthew and I discovered the you-tube video (the "watch our new video" button on the sidebar will take you there) for Driving My Tractor, another fun Barefoot Book ! You see, Matthew has an obsession (like many preschool-aged children) with trucks, trains, construction equipment and tractors. With our supervision, of course, we allow him to pick out you-tube videos of such transportation vehicles to watch. I ended up purchasing the book, with sing-along CD, for him and he just loves it!

After these numerous positive experiences with Barefoot Books, I decided to become a Barefoot Books Ambassador. I'm not one to jump into a business without looking at the details first, and after much scrutinizing, Barefoot Books looked like a perfect fit. I thought I'd post this here in blogland because, well, it's now a part of my life that I'd like to share. Plus, you never know who might be in the market for a great children's book!

Please let me know if you have any questions regarding Barefoot Books, whether it's about the products, my experiences, or becoming an Ambassador yourself. You may also check out My Marketplace, or click on any of the Barefoot Books buttons for more information on the books mentioned above, among many others. I am truly excited about this new journey in my life!

Thank you,

P.s. If you decide to become a member of the Barefoot Community (basically, providing your email address--but you can choose if you want to receive email from Barefoot Books or not), you will receive 20% off your first purchase.