Friday, January 24, 2014

Grow Your Blog

I would like to thank Vicki at 2 Bags Full for hosting the Grow Your Blog Party.  I can only imagine the amount of time she puts in to this event...  Thank you, Vicki!  (I cannot wait to learn more about her Pink Scarf Project.)

I would also like to thank Elizabeth at Sew In Love for letting me know about this blog party.  (If you have visited her site, be forewarned, her stitching is gorgeous.)

As for me... My name is Renee Younger, I am 42 and live in Oregon.  I am married to a wonderful man and we have been blessed with two wonderful children.  One is nearly 17 and has sported the nickname "Monkey" nearly 16 of those years.  (Thankfully, he likes the nickname, as I use it as often as his birth name.)  My youngest just turned 14.  I have a nickname for him that I am not allowed to share (I fear it is too cutesy for his liking.)  When he was 5 or 6 he asked me to change his nickname to "Piggy" because he could oink so well.  I politely declined, explaining he would thank me when he was older.  (For the record, he has thanked me for that decision on more than one occasion.)  We decided his new nickname would be "Mutt" because he loves all types of dogs. I fear, I still use my personal nickname for him, except here on my blog.  (Poor kid.)  However, I used the boys' nicknames for the url for my blog; thus,  monkeyandmutt.blogspot.com.

Here is a recent picture of me.  I apologize because it is blurry.  I tend to be our family photographer, so I escape the camera lens most of the time. However, over Christmas, my hubby took a couple of pictures of me and this is the least blurry of the two. (We'll blame my camera...)

This blog began as a way for me to hold myself accountable for finishing up some of my projects.  I even listed weekly goals.  Perhaps I should take that habit back up ~ lol!  Now, it is mostly my way of sharing crazy quilting.

Things I love:
Cooking ~ This has been both a blessing and a curse this past year.  After several months of illness and lots of normal tests that left my doctor baffled, I was referred to a naturopath and discovered food was the likely culprit.  On the positive side, eliminating gluten, dairy, eggs, most grains, sugar, honey, beef, pork, chocolate, and ~gasp~ coffee from one's diet is definitely one way to shed some pounds.  The Internet is an amazing source for hunting down new recipes and learning about substitutions to tweak recipes so I can eat them.  (Although, I will admit, on the days this feels particularly challenging I can be found humming Monty Python's song, "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life."  I think I will adopt it as my theme song for the year ~ lol!)

Running ~ I love running.  Due to a foot injury, I have not been at it for about a year.  (I even completed the Warrior Dash in 2012 with my eldest son, sister-in-law and best friend from college.  They were great about waiting for me to catch up so we could go through each obstacle together.  My husband cheered us on and played photographer.)   It is my hope to get back to running this year.  (I really do miss it, but I also have a confession. To be totally honest, I mentally mock myself during at least the first mile of every run.  I wonder why I am doing it, as I do not really enjoy the process.  However, by the end of a run, I am exhilarated and cannot wait for the next one.  My husband says I am a dork, but I am his dork, so it is okay.)

Writing ~ I love writing.  I actually finished the 50,000 word goal in NaNoWriMo in November of 2012.  Of course, that novel needs almost a complete do-over, so I hope to get that done this year.  (Hmmm... I really should go back to weekly goal setting...)  My husband likes to point out that my gift (or curse?) of verbosity comes in handy here.  (Verbose? Me?  Well, let's face it,  this post is already turning into a novella...)

Crazy Quilting ~ Over the past couple of years, crazy quilting has become my true passion.  If I go a few weeks without working on a crazy quilt block, I get grumpy.  I long for it.  However, I suppose as far as addictions go, this is a healthy one to have.

I stumbled upon the Crazy Quilting International Blog and joined their Yahoo! Groups almost two years ago. I have learned so much from the wonderful community there. (If you want to risk spending a couple of hours admiring some amazing eye candy, click on the link to their blog above ~ or on either of the CQJP links below!)

Last year, I committed to the Crazy Quilt Journal Project 2013 (CQJP 2013.)  I would love to say I finished, but I allowed myself to get stuck on my May block. (Yep.  I definitely need to get back to weekly goals.)  I decided to make this project one of landscape themed crazy quilt blocks.  When they are finished, I plan to put them into a quilt.  My mother-in-law would like me to enter it into the Northwest Quilting Expo in Portland in September. I am not so sure about that, but I am thrilled she likes my work.

In spite of my failure to finish last year, I signed up for CQJP 2014 and just finished my first block. I plan to make purses out of each of the blocks this year.  I may try to sell them at a Christmas bazaar.  Maybe.  I have been encouraged to try selling some of my crazy quilted projects through Etsy.com.  I have a tendency to second-guess my work; so, we'll see...

Blogging ~ As nice as it is to share my crazy quilting with my husband and my two boys, it is fun to have a place to share the projects I am working on with others that share my love for the craft.  I share photos of some projects as I go.  Others, I complete before I post.  (I find this motivates me to finish them before starting on something new!)  This year, I joined Pinterest, and I have shared photos of a few projects I made using ideas found there (one is seen in the photo to the left.) I have also added a few photos of my crazy quilt projects on a Pinterest board.  However, I think I prefer sharing here.  Perhaps this is because my favorite part of blogging has been making some great on-line friends over the past couple of years.


Crazy Quilting Projects:
So far this year, I have completed the CQI Winter/Christmas blocks for our round robin rotation and my CQJP 2014 January block (pictured here.)

Items I plan to share on my blog in the near future include:
  1. A gift I am working on
  2. The purse I plan to make with my CQJP 2014 January block
  3. The 6 blocks I need to piece for the CQI Heart DYB Round Robin
  4. My CQJP 2014 February block (which is not yet pieced and will likely be a test run of the block idea I have in mind for the Heart DYB round robin)
  5. My block to embellish from the CQI Winter/Christmas DYB Round Robin
  6. The wall hanging I plan to create with all of my CQI Winter/Christmas blocks
  7. My CQJP 2013 May block (better late than never?!)
  8. A crazy quilted hexagon to participate in my first swap with the World Wide Crazy Quilters Yahoo! Group
Thank you so much for stopping by!  Please feel free to leave a comment and include the name of your blog so I can stop by and visit.

Hugs,
Renee







87 comments:

Vroomans' Quilts said...

I so admire those who crazy quilt. Love threads, beads, buttons, all that décor that you use in your pretty blocks.

Renee said...

Thank you, I am having fun with it!

Elizabeth Braun said...

Hi Renee! Thanks for the mention and the compliment!

Interesting post!=) We have a few things in common: We're both 42, don't have many nice photos of ourselves, have health hassles that waste our time and found it hard to prune our GYB posts!!=)

Hope you make squads of new friends!=)

Elizabeth Braun said...

Would you know it? Your blog is part of my assigned section to visit as a GYB party volunteer!=)

Welcome to the party and I hope you have a great event!

Wandering Wren said...

Hi Renee
I am a new follower - your happy, shiny, bubbly self oozes through despite the visions I have of you hobbling around, staring daggers at anyone who mentions the word chocolate to you!!!! Poor You but here's to a wonderful year for you without food allergies and running a marathon. We share a mutt in common, although mine has four legs. It sounds like your Mutt and my son would get along just fine in a "don't you mention me on your blog sort of a way! lol
Lovely to have met you! I shall enjoy your writing. Good luck with the quilts!
Wren x

Nancy Claeys said...

Good morning Renee! From one runner to another -- so nice to meet you! Happy to have found your blog and am now following. Look forward to getting to know you better.

My Garden Diaries said...

I love to run too!!! So glad you found my blog through the party!!! Such beautiful quilts!! I look forward to journeying along with you!!! Nicole

Donna Heber said...

Hi Renee,

I'm visiting from the Grow Your Blog party. You are very talented! Your quilts are beautiful! I plan to look around a bit more and then be on my way to visit the others. I do hope you will stop by for a visit and enter my giveaway. Have a wonderful weekend! Hugs – Donna

Renee said...

How ironic! Sounds like we have a lot more in common than just a love for needlework. :) I hope you find many more friends through the GYB party, too. I feel I have already made one. ;) Hugs!

Sharon said...

Visiting from Grow Your Blog! We have some interests in common -- writing and running! I too stopped running because of a foot issue and I miss it. My high school teacher would write on my essays "verbose!" -- so we can connect with that label. Glad to find you! Following you on Bloglovin!

Pookledo said...

I'm loving the look of your quilts! :)

Renee said...

Wren, thank you! I like to think a positive attitude is a choice, so I was hoping I did not come across as complaining. I am not sure about a marathon, but I would LOVE to run a half-marathon (I was week away from my first one when my foot decided it had other plans - lol!) I saw pictures of your mutt on your blog. He's adorable. My husband and I were lucky enough to spend three years living in Switzerland. Our eldest son was born there. In fact, I have quite the traveling story of our trip home from visiting my husband's family in the Netherlands when I was about seven months along. Thanks for stopping by! I look forward to reading more of your adventures.

Renee said...

Thank you, Nancy! I stopped by your blog and love the photos from your farm. Lovely!

Renee said...

There is just nothing like a good run! :) Thank you for your kind words about my crazy quilting. I look forward to getting to know you, too!

Renee said...

Donna, thank you! The photos on your blog are wonderful! I look forward to spending more time exploring and seeing more of your lovely cards.

Renee said...

Sharon, the photos on your blog are gorgeous! Thank you for stopping by. I am following you on Bloglovin!

Renee said...

Thank you! The jewelry in your Etsy shop is quite fun. Hugs, Renee

Shauna said...

visiting from GYB party, loving those crazy quilt pieces!!!!!

Renee said...

Thank you! I love the latest quilt you finished and am following you on Bloglovin!

Pookledo said...

Thankyou :)

Silke said...

You have a beautiful blog, Renee! And even thought I am not a quilter, I kept reading and reading. I'll be sure to come visit again!! xoxo Silke

Christine M said...

Hello Renee. Your crazy patchwork is lovely. Hopefully you'll get back to your running. I play tennis and hate it when I get an injury and have to not play for a while, so I know how you feel.

Beth @ E. Lizard Breath Speaks said...

a warrior dash sounds fun. i wonder if i could even begin to do that. i would love to try. hi there. i'm Beth from E. Lizard Breath Speaks - so nice to meet you through the Grow Your Blog get together/party. ( :

Elita@Busy Needle Quilting said...

Hi from Switzerland! I'll leave the running to you but I do love your crazy patchwork! You use such pretty details that all play together so nicely. Definitely something I have to work on. :-) Keep up the great work!

http://www.busyneedle.ch

Deborah Montgomery said...

I'm visiting from the GYB party. I, too, completed the NaNoWriMo in 2012, and I too have lots of work to do on it! I love the idea of crazy quilting. Will bookmark you and be back to look some more at your quilting and the links you provided. thanks!

Marilou said...

Hi Renee, I found you! I just stopped by to thank you for commenting on my CQ January block and I see you are part of the Grow Your own Blog Party too:) I am too, hope you can stop by, your work is lovely. I too dropped the ball for CQing last year but this year I'm committed!
Hugs to you and have fun blogging and making new friends:) Marilou

Purrfect Lady said...

*waves in passing on GYOB tour*

Claire said...

Lovely to meet you, Renee - still working my way through the GYB party list :)
I've become a follower so I can keep up with your beautiful crazy quilts - just gorgeous!

Wendy said...

nice to meet you! I was diagonised with a yeast allergy a few years ago. Despite cutting almost everything out of my diet, eating no sugar at all and hardly any fat, I piled the weight on and felt ill every day for 3 months. I started eating normally again and have had no problems since! Your stitching looks lovely, I'm going to have a quick nose around!

Lorraine said...

Thought I'd pop in for a visit from one crazy quilter to another! :)

Renee said...

What a sweet compliment! Thank you. I stopped by your blog and just love your artwork. Hugs, Renee

cristi wuenschel said...

found/followed you from the gyb party. wow! you do all kinds of different things! so do I! looking forward to seeing what you're up to this year. hope you'll stop by and visit me as well!

Cache-Mire said...

So nice to meet you at the GYB party! You have a lovely blog. Stop by and visit sometime. Hugs, Terri

Renee said...

Hi, Christine! I believe your lovely blog was one of the first I visited. (I was a bit excited and Googled "Grow Your Blog Party" late Friday night and began making my rounds... lol!) We have talked about taking tennis lessons. Perhaps this spring - it sounds fun! Thank you for stopping by!

Renee said...

Beth, the Warrior Dash was a lot of fun. Next time, I will need to train with some pretty steep hills to prepare for the course we ran, but a good time was had by all! It is great to meet you through the GYBP. I left a comment on blog with a couple of places we like to go here in Oregon. (Actually... thinking of places to go and things to see, I should look up the details for the Sand Castle Contest in Cannon Beach. It was so fun the year we went.) I look forward to hearing about your future adventures!

Renee said...

Thank you for stopping by! I have been following you on blogger and just started following your new wordpress blog through Bloglovin. I enjoy seeing all of your lovely creations!

Judy Cooper Textile Images said...

Greetings from St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada. Great blog hop. I have done some crazy quilted projects.

Renee said...

Greetings to you in Switzerland! Thank you for the lovely compliment. Your work is gorgeous!

Renee said...

Thank you for stopping by! I visited your lovely blog. Your photos are beautiful! I am seriously considering participating in Camp NaNoWriMo this April. November is just so hectic for us, last year I think I only managed 200 words. I look forward to seeing more of your posts.

Renee said...

You are so sweet to track me down. :) Your CQJP block is just gorgeous and I look forward to seeing what you do for February!

Renee said...

Thanks for stopping by! I am waving back. ;)

Renee said...

Thank you for your sweet compliment! I enjoyed my visit to your blog. Hugs, Renee

Renee said...

Wendy, nice to meet you, too! I am so glad you are able to eat normally again and are feeling better! I am supposed to avoid yeast, too. I can mostly live with that; however, I don't think I could give up most fat. I love my husband's guacamole way too much! I am so looking forward to checking out more of your blog.

Renee said...

I hope I did not just comment for the second time on your blog. (I discovered it in the wee hours of the morning on Saturday, and cannot remember if I commented or not.) I enjoyed looking through your posts and look forward to seeing more. I love the name of your blog!

Renee said...

Terri, your baskets are wonderful! Thank you for stopping by!

Renee said...

Judy, thank you for stopping by! I will certainly be following your blog. I must admit, I became lost in your post about Hand Embroidery. I look forward to another visit when I have more time to roam.

Beth said...

You left a lovely post on my blog and couldn't wait to visit. I hope to come back often. I love your needlework.

cmoh said...

congratulations on completing a novel for NaNoWrMo! that is a huge accomplishment! I write a little but have never been successful with trying to write a novel in a month. I too love cooking. if only I loved running to burn it off ;) It has been lovely meeting you.

Hugs
Caroline

Tisha Dolton said...

Thanks for sharing your story & blog. I'm working my way through the Grow Your Blog list... I am in the 1st batch if you want to visit my embroidery blog.

aprilsongstress

Art and Sand said...

How fun that your child still loves his Monkey nickname.

Your crazy quilts look like so much fun. Now that I have a dedicated room to quilt, I hope to make a few baby quilts for gifts this spring.

Anitha said...

Hi Renee, happy to meet you through GYB party. Love your crazy quilts and make me wish I could quilt.. Lovely post and looking forward to read all of them..thanks for stopping by my blog and for your lovely comment.. Hugs:)

deborah lyn said...

Hi Renee, I'm pleased to meet you on the GYB circuit! I'll be following your blog and looking forward to your posts. Thank you for sharing - crazy quilting Yea!
take care, deborah I'm at: http://deborahstanleyinspirations.blogspot.com/

Sarah and Dan said...

Can't say that I love running, but everything else sounds lovely!

Thistle Cove Farm said...

I'm with Sarah and Dan...if I'm running, it's because I'm being chased. Visiting via Vicki's GYBP and enjoyed your post. I do quilt, although not as well as you, and a have been saving fabric for a crazy quilt. One day.

Renee said...

Thank you! I truly enjoyed my visit to your blog and look forward to seeing more in the future. Hugs, Renee

Renee said...

Caroline, it is lovely to meet you! I think your wall hangings are adorable. I look forward to more visits to your blog in the future.

Renee said...

Tisha, thank you for visiting. I think your redwork portraits are just amazing!

Renee said...

How fun! I look forward to seeing them. (I just love your blog, by the way.)

Renee said...

Thank you! I enjoyed visiting your blog. The wonderful thing about crazy quilting is that I do not feel as much pressure to line up my seams. (I am not very good at that - lol!) I hope you have a wonderful day!

Renee said...

Thank you! Your work is wonderful. I was also thrilled to discover the blog for The House Quilt Project through the link on your blog. So wonderful! Hugs, Renee

Renee said...

Thank you! A visit to your blog reminded me of the New Year's Eve my husband, my youngest and I counted down to midnight in the ER. Mutt's first moments of the New Year were spent receiving 6 staples to stitch his scalp. He was also quite the trooper!

Renee said...

LOL! Oh, I bet your quilting is better than mine. (I am a master at wonky corners - thus, the beauty of crazy quilting!) I enjoyed my visit to your blog. Hugs, Renee

hula-la said...

Poppin' in along the blog party route! I love how you mention that blogging is a way to "hold yourself accountable for unfinished projects"...ha ha...I have so many of those, it's not even funny. Alas, you have inspired me to get on it! I adore your little snowmen on your stocking. Very nice work you do here. I look forward to seeing more. Hope you'll stop by for a visit! Aloha

Caitlin Jordan said...

hello it's nice to meet you your quilts are beautiful :D

EvalinaMaria said...

Hello from the Yukon. I hope you're enjoying this party as much as I do :)
Evalina, This and that...

suziqu's thread works said...

What a wonderful name for a blog!
I too have many years behind me now of crazy quilting but more lately have on to collaging
which I use in mixed media projects where I love to use vintage lace and doilies.
I see that you love running - so good for your health!
You may like to enter my giveaway I am offering where I have used some of these.
Your blog is just great and should attract many new followers.
Suzy

Renee said...

Thank you! I enjoyed visiting your blog. I love the way you save old books headed for the trash or recycling bin. Making soy candles sounds like fun! Sending warm wishes your way!

Renee said...

Thank you! Your work is just lovely!

Renee said...

Thank you, I am enjoying the blog party. I love your work!

Renee said...

Thank you, Suzy! Your stash of lace, buttons and ribbons is amazing. I love the way you combine them for your mixed media projects.

Cindy said...

Your quilting and stitching is amazing and beautiful. I don't quilt however I enjoy looking at them. I am a scrapbookerand wire wrapper and often thougth of going into Christmas craft fairs and just don't get around to it. Seems like more work. Yes, you have to love to run. I do also, however it is limited as the bads behind myright toes swell large and it becomes a problem until it goes down. There is something in the edrenolin that makes a person want to run.

Renee said...

Thank you! Your wire wrapped sea glass is just lovely! I have considered Christmas craft fairs for the past 3 years. However, I tend to give most of my projects away as gifts throughout the year, leaving nothing to offer -lol! Thank you for visiting and for your sweet comments.

Tanya Rachelle said...

Hi Renee. Following you from GYB party! Fun blog!
~Tanya

111 LaLa Lane said...

Hi Renee, I looked at some of your older posts and your quilts are very pretty and creative. I also love to run......my next big run is a 9-mile trail run on part of The Palmetto Trail in SC. I look forward to reading more of your blog and hope you'll stop by mine for a visit. See you soon!

macmillanmarie said...

Hi, what a pleasure to meet you as well as your great family. I have enjoyed reading your blog as well as seeing your beautiful handiwork. Is there ever enough time to do everything we want to. Thanks for sharing. Happy hopping!

judith said...

Loved your blog, you have a great way of getting hold of ones attention with your verbiage. Your crazy quilting is fabulous and you should sell them on ETSY. give it a try, If I can sell on ETSY, anyone can. But your works is very nice. I am glad to have met you thru GYB and hope you enjoy the party.

Renee said...

Thank you! The items in your ETSY shop are fantastic! I look forward to seeing more of your blog posts in the future.

Renee said...

Thank you! I am following you too. Your crafts are lovely. I may need to learn to crochet - the block with the rose center is just gorgeous!

Renee said...

Thank you! Your 9-mile run sounds fun! I have been to SC a few times and just love it there. I am following your blog on Bloglovin'. I do hope you enjoy the snow heading your direction!

Renee said...

Thank you! It is a pleasure to meet you, as well! I doubt there will ever be quite enough time - lol!

averyclaire.org said...

Hi Renee....Thank you for visiting my blog. And for your kind comments. I absolutely LOVE your crazy quilting. I like that beaded chain stitch you posted. Lovely. Looking forward to seeing more!

kim leavens said...

Hi Renee,,,this has been quite the party!!,,, Thank you for visiting my blog, getting around to say hi to everyone is taking longer than I thought lol. I love crazy quilting and always hope to do it more. Your work is beautiful and following you might just be the push I need to do more. Thank you for sharing xx's Kim

Jennifer LaVite said...

I just got some drool on my keyboard! I think your crazy quilting is absolutely amazing! I have done some over the years, but none as beautiful as yours. I really love your work. It was nice to meet you at the BYG hop.

Dawn Castrova said...

I don’t have a lot of blog time in for I just started blogging when I joined the blog party it was my New Year resolution. Got side track with Reading my 377 blog and more to go. but I like all things creative n thrifty. Enjoy the most about you and your hubby sharing the same computer. I find myself in the same situation. Find time between meals and his computer time to even browse 600 websites with full read is a juggling feat. I so understand no need to respond.

lynn cockrell said...

Hi! I am dropping by with the GYB party, courtesy of sweet Vicki. Your blog is beautiful. The pink crazy quilt you are working on is gorgeous. Of all the types of quilts, I think crazy quilts are my favorite and I do not know why I have never attempted to make create one. I think I feel akin to them because they are a lot like me, in that they seem spontaneous and a little wacky.

I am so glad to have found your blog through the party and I will now be a follower. Maybe you can find a moment to visit my blog which is an eclectic mix of all sorts of things that make this young at heart grandmother of five happy!

Gillie said...

Got to come back - I saw some crazy quilting there! Visiting from GYB!

doloresfegan said...

Hi Renee, Just visiting from the GYB party. I really enjoy seeing your work progression. Your February crazy quilt block is turning out to be really pretty. Am a new follower. Happy blogging!