End of 2013

The last day of 2013 is upon us!
It's been a great one for me.

This year was all about traveling to new places, growing in my career, serving in the Relief Society, exploring Dallas restaurants, having pillow fights with my niece and nephews just about every weekend of the year, and developing my hobbies in the handmade world (debuted a new fabric line, made 4 quilts/ blankets, 6 embroideries, 1 shirt, 2 dresses, 3 wreaths, 2 wedding announcement packages)

In April I went to San Francisco with my family.

In May I went to Portland for quilt market with Melissa, Benson, and my mom.

In June I went camping in South Texas near Navarro Mills Lake with my friends.

In July I drove through Texas and New Mexico on route to Lake Powell and then up north with the Wood family.

In September I went to Arizona to visit Ahlin with Shana and Valentina.

In October I went to the Canton Trade Days in Canton, Texas with Melissa.

In October I went to Boston to visit Emily.

In December I went to Costa Rica with my family for the holidays.

2013 has been the bomb diggity and I feel very blessed to be living such a happy, fulfilled life.

Bring on 2014!


Remembering Dora Lee

A week ago today, we lost my grandmother, Dora Lee Bowden Snyder. Grandpa passed away a few years ago, but to have them both gone is a new kind of emotion that feels harder than just one. Of course my mind has been flooded in regret of the conversations I wish we had had, or the relationship we could have formed. But it's also filled with happy memories of visiting Cedar City as a child, getting push pops from the back shed, watching grandpa play the mountain dulcimer and showing me a steel guitar, watching grandma crochet and having every chair be covered with her handiwork, family reunions at Fish Lake, playing go fish, and remembering BYUtv always being on mute in the background.

I remember one day when we were visiting Cedar. Emily and I were talking about how we wanted to get back home in time to go to the Strawberry Days rodeo. I was asking for suggestions on what I ought to wear so I could fit in with the country folk. Grandpa said I really ought to own a pair of cowboy boots as he proceeded to show us his extensive boot collection (he wore them everyday). We oohed and ahhed over all the intricacies and variations in color, until Grandma said,"Ok girls, take them home with you."
Grandpa was shocked, and said,"No, these girls aren't taking my boots with them."
But Grandma insisted that we each take a pair for the rodeo, even though they were much too big for our feet. We took the boots but we couldn't walk in them so unfortunately couldn't wear them to the rodeo. When I moved to Texas, one of the first things I did was buy my very own genuine leather cowboy boots. I wanted them to be legitimate, so I went to the western store by myself during a lunch break. There were hundreds of different styles to choose from, but when I saw the pair that were most similar to grandpa's, I knew they were the right pair for me. I wore them out of the store and I thought both grandma and grandpa would have been proud. I think of them every time I wear them out.

Since I heard the news about grandma, I've been feeling very reflective, thinking about what parts of my personality came from my dad's parents and I narrowed it down to a few.

They loved collecting. Perhaps a little too much at times. Their house was like a museum and you never knew what little collections you might find. Whether it was guitars, books, clocks, arrowheads, petrified wood, jewelery, you name it. And now I love to collect postcards, pins, and pens from my travels.

Western Wear
I already mentioned the cowboy boots, but I also love plaid. I have quite a few plaid shirts and I know Melissa and Jesse and love their plaid shirts too.

I'm not exactly sure what it's called, but they had some sort of wood-burning stove in the living room. Whenever we would visit in the winter, we would leave smelling like we had just been camping. I love wood fires now, especially the smell.

Breakfast Foods
My family doesn't typically make big breakfasts when we're together. We like our whole grain cereal and skim milk just fine. But when we were with grandma and grandpa, breakfast was a big deal. We had the most perfectly fried hash browns, hot cakes, and eggs. Sometimes sausage and bacon too. After all the roommates I've had, I have still never met anyone who makes hot cakes as good as Grandpa's or who can fry an egg as well as my dad.

Folk & Country Music
The other day I was talking to a co-worker about music genres. We were answering the question, "If you had only one genre to choose to listen to the rest of your life, what would it be?" My immediate answer was folk. I love it. I love acoustic guitars, banjos, mandolins, steel guitars, and fiddles. My grandpa MADE dulcimers by hand in his little shop in the backyard. I could tell that him and grandma were proud when my parents signed me up for fiddle lessons.

Craft Handiwork
I've been embroidering my whole life. My mom loves it and she got me to catch the bug too, but on Christmas mornings our presents from grandma usually included something delicately embroidered. I remember one year she gave Jesse this beautiful blue, red, and white quilt that had embroidered state birds for every state in the nation. Melissa and I both got pillowcases embroidered with lace and dainty little peacocks. I so loved all the detail work and I know that she did too.

Ice Cream
The Snyder's take ice cream very seriously. I even wrote an 8-page paper in college about the importance of ice cream in the Snyder family history. So I think it's pretty amazing that my favorite ice cream brand is the Texas-made Bluebell and Grandma was born in Bluebell, Utah.
Coincidence? I think not.

Grandma sure was a crier. Most of the time I would leave her house and give her a hug goodbye, she would shed a little tear. As much as I wouldn't like to admit that I am a crier, I just counted 3 times I have cried just today. But in my defense, the last episode of Gilmore Girls always gets me and I watched the sweet movie, Polly, today.

Grandma also loved clocks! In fact, the last time I was in her living room, I believed I counted 28 clocks in the room. Some of them would ding, others would cuckoo, and she loved to rearrange them and add more to her collection. Adversely, I have always had a tough time with clocks. I remember the day that we learned how to tell time in 2nd grade. I was very confused by the whole concept, so I clearly remember turning and talking to a friend instead and thinking, "I'll just learn this some other time when I am older." Well I'm 25 and I still don't get it. Rather than face my fears, I just buy digital clocks. I don't own a watch and even when there is a clock around, I double check with my phone in case I read the clock wrong.

So this weekend I bought a clock. A real one, with 2 hands and numbers and all that stuff. I figure that now is a good time to start paying attention to the time that is passing by. Maybe grandma already understood the lessons I am just learning. Clocks not only tell us the time, but they tell us how much time is passing. You don't quite get that constant movement with a digital clock, it's just a new number on the screen. But a clock shows you each moment passing by and I hope that I can remember that and the clock can be more of a reminder from her to focus on my priorities and to not let my time on earth be wasted.

I'm so glad to be part of our Snyder family.

Grandma's obituary
Grandpa's obituary


Sarah Pugmire

Let's meet Sarah Pugmire.
Awhile back, I told Sarah that she should start a blog. She said that if I do a post all about her and how awesome she is, then she would consider it. So here goes!

Sarah Pugmire is a gem. We were in the same ward at BYU. (Enter extravagant BYU fanatic photo...)

We were both living at the cute little Chandell apartments on 50 East behind Brick Oven in Provo. I had seen her around, appreciated her style, and a few of her comments in church but I hadn't spent much time around her. When most folks left for the summer, that's when we bonded. 

We started walking to work every morning together, watching Gilmore Girls, making popsicles, going to ward activities, planning Saturday's Warrior movie watching events, driving to Alpine and Pleasant Grove, swimming in my parent's pool, making dinner, and talking about boys. It was a pretty rough summer because I was thinking that I was going to be getting married and done with single life. In some of my toughest moments she was there to help me analyze my life and single status, and read books on the topic (book club on a blanket out front of our apartment as I read excerpts aloud from John Bytheway's "What I Wish I Knew When I was Single"). She convinced me to go to more ward activities, even this pioneer trek re-enactment. She helped me remember how much I love my life just the way it is. She made me laugh and she even laughed at my jokes too. 

So imagine my delight when she asked if I wanted to join her and her cousin in an apartment for the next year of school. I was super pumped. And it ended up being a fabulous year. The best senior year at BYU a girl could ask for. And a big reason for that is because of Miss Sarah Pugmire herself. 

After college I moved to Dallas and then she moved to San Diego. We've had a few visits in Utah and a wonderful day when she was here in Dallas! (Of couse I took her to Central Market.)

Well, Sarah is getting married in just a few short weeks and although I can't make it to the wedding, I've been thrilled to be part of it through the design of her wedding announcements. I just got these beauties in the mail this week! 

Congratulations Sarah! Love ya girl! 


Quilt Market Portland Fun

So let's talk fabric. Ballerina fabric, specifically.

Melissa and I were super pumped when Kokka, a fabric company based in Japan, decided to print more designs. This spring, they debuted our new line "Tiny Dancer." Yes that would be like Elton John's song. And our first line with Riley Blake was called "Rainy Days & Mondays" like the Carpenter's song. I think we're seeing a trend here... :)

New fabric lines come out to the public at a market in the fall and spring. Quilt shop owners come and purchase their fabrics and supplies for the next 6 months. This spring market was in Portland and we decided it would be pretty fun to be at market when we had something coming out. So Melissa, baby Benson, and I caught a flight to Portland and met our mom, who made the voyage from Utah. 

Although I may have gotten a little fabric-ed out, it was pretty cool to be at market. We got to meet and chat with a lot of the celebrities in the fabric world. People who make cool fabrics, have awesome fabric blogs, or who make great patterns. 

We put pictures of all the 15 prints in the line up on our website for your viewing pleasure. They should be coming to stores in America in July. 

This is my favorite floral print in the line. I made this mini bow tie for baby Benson to wear at market. But I am going to make Calvin (his older brother) a matching bow tie. Pretty sure they will be adorable together. 

Here is our display at the Kokka booth! They had made a bunch of samples and gave us a full quadrant of the booth to display Melimba prints. We were pretty ecstatic when we saw the cute little sign too! 

My mom made the big quilt on display and one of the dresses on the rack, Melissa made the dolls up front, and I made the tote bag on the far left. A real family affair! 

Here is a close-up of those great dolls Melissa made! She even put magnets in the hands and feet so they can hold hands and touch their toes. They were a big hit and we're all trying to convince her to make a pattern, because so many people asked for it at market. She's such an artist. 

Here is a bag that Kokka made using the blue panel print. All of those fun designs on one piece of fabric! 

A few more tote bags with the panel prints. How sweet is that blue dress on the left? I love it just on its own. In fact, I think the first thing I said when I saw it is, "How can I get this in my size?" 

It sure reminds me of my favorite American Girl Doll outfit of Kirsten's: 

My mom made the orange panel dress on the left for little Tillie. And there's the navy floral again. Can't wait to make a blouse for me out of that print! 

Another doll close-up. And some cute purses that Kokka made. I think that is a great pattern for a scripture bag. 

A little blurry, but here is a close-up of the quilt my mom whipped up in a couple weeks. It has minky on the back and a great floral quilting by Cathy Barney on top. 

Melissa approves of this booth. Thumbs up! 

Here we are with Keiko who is the creative director of Kokka. 

Ok, ok. That's enough Melimba Tiny Dancer fun. Another fun part of quilt market is seeing all of fabric celebrities. Here we are with another Kokka designer, Melody Miller. She's super famous and makes great fabric with typewriters, cameras, phones, bathroom scales, and metallic gold.  

Here is Melissa with Heather Ross, who is holding baby Benson. 
She is super cool and makes beautiful illustrations. 

Heather's new line, Briar Rose. 

I snapped a lot of pics just walking around the different booths at Market, but I'm not sure where they came from. Just a collection of some of my favorite things I saw...

The staple dress pattern was a big hit. I think this was an Art Gallery fabric.

I like this type of chevron quilt. 

Some nice embroideries. It looks like Anna Marie Horner, but I'm not for sure. 

A new quilt design from Kaffe Fassett. I forget what those fabrics are called but they have a heather-like texture on them. Super cool. 

Love the quilting on this piece using Melody Miller fabrics. 

Quilting that outlines all the birds. It's a little tough to see but it must have been so time consuming. 

Super cute little animals and dolls from Ric Rac. 

Love that applique of the oranges on the shirt, skirt, and table runner. 

iPhone quilt pattern from Carrie of Such Designs. This new line from Windham fabrics comes out in this summer. She was super nice and we I loved her newsprint fabric that features all of her favorite quotes by other artists. Can't wait to pick that one up when it comes out! 

So that was quilt market. Lots of fabric, lots of walking and chatting. And lots of beautiful things to see.  We had a little time to explore Portland and it was so lush and beautiful. 

Many people told us we needed to go to Voodoo Doughnuts, so we tried that out. The doughnuts were great but the location was a little scary. 

As if we hadn't spent enough time thinking about fabric... we went fabric shopping one morning. There were too many great deals and prints that we couldn't pass up. Melissa was at the cutting board with a lot of lovely bolts and was trying to narrow down the collection. 

She said, "I really like this one but I just don't think I'm a purple person." 
I said,"Melissa. Look at your pants."

Perfect match! Turns out she is a purple person. 

My fabulous friend, Hannah Judd, set me up on a blind date for one of the nights I was in Portland. Super fun! We were talking about Portlandia and how much I loved the episode "Put a Bird on It." 
So he showed me the store it was filmed in! My picture is terrible because we were driving but I was pretty psyched. (Here is the video, in case you missed it.)

Turns out Portland is ok with the saying, because this was on our menu the next morning. 

A few shots of the gals in green before we traveled home:

Portland, you were good to us. We loved your weather. We love the wildflowers and all the greenery. We also appreciate that so many of you dress casual and don't worry too much about your hair and makeup, just like us. We loved your food and appreciation for recycling. We enjoyed your hospitality and low speed limits. 
And most importantly, we love that you love fabric. 
Thanks for hosting quilt market. We'll be back soon!