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Sunday, April 12, 2015

Spring is Here !!

Yeah - Spring has finally sprung (shhhh - I may have just invoked the wrath of the winter gods). My Daffodils and Iris plants are poking through their winter cover in my patio garden - Yeah !! Easter has come and gone. What fun having a little one around.
Claire had her first Easter egg hunt the day before our family dinner, so she was all prepared and knew just what to do :). She had a bunny sweatshirt on and those crazy Bunny ears - too cute!!
I'm soooo sick of sandwiches for lunch at work, so today I made Broccoli, Ham and Cheese muffins. They smell great, hope they taste as good as they smell.

 Last week's Have it All wallet is a hit and I have requests. I ran out of the black fabric I used in the first wallet, but found this fab script print - and on sale. I may just have to make another for myself as I love script prints ... Hope they don't expect one any time soon ....  I have a huge agenda for today, including getting outside (I hope) and no time off until May :(. Sundays are never a day of rest for me. Ok, enough of my boo hoo story.
On a more positive note I have an announcement! I have finished - yes FINISHED cutting the 2000+ honeycombs and assorted paper pieces needed for my Lucy Boston POTC, and here they are
They are now stored away in plastic boxes meant for embroidery floss. I saw this neat organizing tip on a blog during one of my many tours of blogland. Can't remember who's blog it was, but what a brilliant idea - Thanks! Can't say I'm not tempted to start right away on LBPOTC, but I must keep to my "schedule" which includes housework (spring cleaning), garden work (yeah - outside work) and UFOs!

It's sunny and bright and warm today. Have a great week everyone :)

Sunday, April 05, 2015

Happy Easter !

Last week my "theme" was ENOUGH. Well, I've had enough of this white stuff! I mean come on .... it's Easter! But no, that wasn't enough, this past week was a lesson on what is enough ...
The president of the university (image from Facebook friend) where  I have laboured for the past 36+ years experienced a lesson in how much is enough. For those  readers not tuned in -  the province where I live has legislated the publication of a "Sunshine List" = a list of every one in the public sector who earns more than $100,000.00 ! Well, it was revealed that our fearless leader not only earned over $400,000.00 but double dipped last year by NOT taking his paid sabbatical while still earning his salary at the same time, which then equalled close to $1 million in salary last year! The uproar was something to behold, and it was quickly obvious that everyone has had ENOUGH of corporate GREED!  It was all over social media, traditional media and even in the Provincial legislature. The faculty association held a non-confidence vote or 94%! and my own union is holding a non-confidence vote this week coming. In an attempt to mollify the masses and employees @ the university, who by the way average $43,000.00 per annum in earnings, an email and campus news story was sent out. The president offered to return the salary for his sabbatical and to NOT claim this same amount at the end of his second contract. The Board of Govenors, who negotiated his very favourable contract, also had a press release!  We'll see if their spin does anything. It certainly was an interesting lesson in enough is enough!
So, along with all those lovely fabrics I purchased on our road trip I also purchased some lovely sewing charms. I already had the pin so now it was time to add the charms and pin it to my sewing bag! (pssst that's a quilt block on the left end). Nice eh ?
I also found this fabulous selvedge fabric. Not sure what I plan to make with it, but I couldn't resist :)
On the right is some fabric I purchased a while back to make myself a new wallet. I got the pattern, Have it All Wallet,  at another of my favourite quilt stores (I have a few) the Marsh Store .

So on the left is the finished/not finished wallet. I decided to add a flower to the front and a wrist strap. On the right is an inside view. The black  /3 is a card holder area. Well, after it was all done I wasn't overly happy with the results. So I spent the next day unsewing .... Now that I understand the pattern (not enough pictures, not enough description for me) I now know exactly how/what I want to change to make this wallet suit me !
What else have I been up to? Well, it's Easter and the family is gathering, so I made a Lemon cake. Hope they like my Easter egg decorations :)
What an interesting week! TTFN

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Enough !

When is enough enough? Do we ever have enough? Do we have too much? Guess that depends on what we're talking about ... Last week was cold and gray and it even snowed one morning! Enough already!! As you can see from my patio shot, the snow is melting - slowly.Even worse - it's supposed to snow again next week :(.
A week ago Friday was our best day so far, sunny and bright and warmish. I  had the day off work - woohoo! So I gathered up a couple of friends and off we went for a wee road trip to Cherished Pieces. The store was having a $10/yard (hey we're in Canada eh - why sell by the yard!!) sale of Downton Abbey & Civil War fabrics, so off we go!! We started off in Ingersol at Stitch it Central a lovely little store which has lots of stitching stuff, and fabric too! Then off to Tillsonburg for some serious shopping! Here's a shot of  the fabrics for my Lucy Boston Patchwork of the Crosses. Doesn't look like much, but at last I've started collecting fabrics for this project - I'm still cutting paper honeycombs, and yes I do know I could buy them but I have chosen to cut them up myself- woohoo!

When I got home I pulled some fat quarters from my stash. I think they'll work with the colour  scheme which seems to be emerging.
Well, those purchases just weren't enough to fill that buy fabric urge ....  right ladies? So I managed to find a few fat quarters .... I totally fell in love with the Bees and the Chicken Wire fabrics !!! Thanks ladies for another fun day :)
Wednesday last week started off  with "Why is it so cold in here ?" Oh, the programmable thermostat is one of those appliances which does not automatically spring forward ... aha! I'll just go down and reset the clock on the thermostat .... NO, its low batteries! that's the problem!!! Luckily I had some batteries in the house, the right kind ....  so problem solved. Then Wednesday evening my computer decided to stop in it's tracks. 3 hours and I finally got it booted up in safe mode. YIKES! off to the shop and many $$$ later. My budget is squeaking - first a shopping excursion then a trip to the computer repair shop! Do I have enough $ for this month?
Well, the week ended off with a gathering of our sewing group.  We had lots of laughs sharing who we like more .... Brian BaumlerScott McGillvary, or Mike Holmes ;) what's your vote? I then conducted a social experiment to see who would ask me the dreaded "WHEN ARE YOU GOING TO RETIRE" question. To complete the "experiment" I answered all the same old boring questions. They'll never understand .... So here's the story ...
My Life is differenent than your Ivory Tower
As a single woman I won't share a 2nd income/partner's pension
My pension will only be WHAT I EARN 
I'm lucky to have a pension, many don't
But my pension will not be the golden handshake many of you Boomers got!
I have a financial plan/planner
I'm almost there, but it's a bit of a struggle.
Ok? I've had enough of this particular conversation  - now lets move on.
This weekend was the usual Saturday afternoon with Mother. It seems she is wanting to downsize - again! Not sure what is driving this, boredom? that Spring cleaning urge we all get at this time of year? something else? Anyway, what ever the motive I was the recipient of some terrific gifts.

This spoon was my Great Grandmother Boyter's (nee MacKenzie). At some point in my life I told mother I wanted it ... so now it's mine! My Great Grandmother lived until I was 16, so I definitely remember her. The milk glass plate apparently first belonged to the grandmother of my grandmother ! So its provenance is: Keziah  Norton (nee Heighes) to Elizabeth Armstrong (nee Norton), to Lilian Grace Boyter (nee Armstrong), to Betty Jean Smith (nee Boyter), and finally to me!

The cut crystal plate below is very heavy. Mother won it as a prize from the company she worked for and always valued it for that reason. Now I will value it too.
Here's hoping Spring comes soooooon. Easter is next weekend!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Raindrops Keep Falling on my Head

Thought I would start this post with a look at last week's pic of the patio. The snow was still heavily built up.  The last 5 weeks of extreme cold weather really did me in, and of course I ended up sick :(. I know it was cold for everyone, but I'm a 90 lb weakling with a health condition which means the cold reallllly affects me. So, besides ending up @ the Doc's I started the process @ work to have accommodations in place.  Maybe next winter will be easier. I don't get much sympathy/support from family/friends - all of whom are retired and have the choice to stay home! One of these days I'll have the good fortunate to retire. As they say, it's a great life if you don't weaken. Guess I'll struggle on 'til retirement  .... soon, coming soon! the countdown is on!  It Last week's weather was nothing to complain about - it was FAB, in the + ALL WEEK long!! So the snow is finally starting to melt  - woohooooooooo!
After I started quilting, I found my favourite local quilt store had the perfect quilt stencil for the small project I've been - raindrops! So, I purchased 4 different marking pens, 3 were air erasable, 1 was water erasable, and did a mini experiment overnight. In the end I used the water erasable marker. I did not wash the hanging once the quilting was completed, instead I wiped the marks away with a damp cloth. Turns out I had to go over the hanging a second time - maybe next time I'll wear my glasses when I wipe off the markings, ;) hint hint.
I'm rather please with this one. I use white fabric with polka dots - thinking it could represent rain. Turns out there were polka dots in some of the umbrellas, so I used more polka dots with the red in the one umbrella and in the cornerstones, inner border and binding. The rain boot fabric also complemented my rain theme. At first I was going to call it April Showers, but now I rather like Rain Drops Keep Falling on my Head so I guess that will be its name :). All done, with a hanging sleeve except the label. Will complete that tonight while watching Downton ! Should be ready for the mater's front door in time for April !
That's been my life lately - what are you working on?

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Happy Birthday Claire!

 She's one year old!! Can you believe it? What a lucky girl.

My sister had the family over for a birthday party. What fun watching Claire open her gifts and play. She was really into pulling out the tissue paper, oh what fun! Claire danced around and laughed and played with the paper. Maybe we should have just given her tissue paper!!
Then again, the sock monkey was an immediate hit! People thought it was something I made, but nooooo - that was my purchased present. My hand made contribution was the Felines and Flutterbies quilt. I had to reassure "the family" that she will NOT be getting a quilt for every birthday .... but I thought that she might enjoy these kitties and butterflies now!
On the home front not much else happened this past week. It's been freaking frigid cold this past week, and next week isn't forecast to be much better. I do not do cold very well, so all my energy is spent just getting to and from work! Oh to be one of those lucky retirees ! None-the-less I did manage to get my "April Showers" door hanging sandwiched and ready to quilt.
Then I stalled for lack of inspiration on how to quilt it. Not to worry, on my Sat trip to WalMart for cat food I stopped to look at one of the many quilt mags - and found my inspiration - raindrops! I'll quilt raindrops!! This should be fun :).
TTFN, hoping the weather improves a bit, at least warms up some !

Monday, February 16, 2015

Winter - Bah Humbug!

Another day of EXTREME cold - luckily it's Family Day in Ontario so I can stay home indoors and snuggle up! Yeah ! Not looking forward to the rest of the week - I don't do well at all in this kind of cold. Winter - bah humbug!
Finally got inspired Sunday afternoon. Got this fabulous umbrella fabric, with matching rain boot fabric a few weeks back. I have decided to work on a door hanging for Spring. Why dwell on the rotten cold weather - let's think Spring!! Here's what I got accomplished last night
I'm using the rain boots fabric as the umbrella base. The umbrella in the top left is going to change, I'm not happy with that green or just the single piece of it. As you can see I applique using freezer paper on top rather than fuse my pieces. So far I'm very happy with the white dotty fabric - makes me think of rain drops. stay tuned ...

New season of Vikings starts this week - WOOHOO, yeah Ragnar :)

Sunday, February 08, 2015

Shhhh, Don't tell mother

A Valentine's day mug rug for the mater. When I was picking out the scrap strips these looked great. Now that it's all done I'm thinking it's rather Christmasy ? Maybe that's just me as I used the one fabric in a Xmas table runner for my niece and now I see that fabric as Christmas. The strips on the side are a bit wonky, never mind, I got something accomplished last week and that's a good thing.....
The next couple of weeks will be busy for me, ticket selling at our next guild meeting, driving all around town picking up/delivering people for a pre-Valentines pizza dinner, taking the car in for its last required oil change, birthday celebration for the grand niece! Can't believe she'll be one year alread!

The weather has been - yucky - can't say much more than that! Took a second personal "snow day" and requested to make up the time. Noooooo, the "boss of the hour" is sticking to the union rules. Why me? After years of watching other people allowed to "make up the time" I'm sure tired of them pulling out the "union rules" when it suits them.  Just 3 more years - if I can hold on that long. Grrrrr, winter!
Enough of my rant,