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Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter, Happy Passover

Simone has discovered her basket .... finally! "She who can not be touched" has been secretly sleeping outside my bedroom door all winter and  I only just discovered this. I'm told that Siamese cats are very loyal. It makes me happy that she wants to be near me, even if she won't let me pet her. Now that SPRING has SPRUNG (yeah!) she's outside as much as possible and loving it! So am I ! Oh joy oh bliss :).
So I decided to make a carrot poke cake for Easter dinner - a new recipe - from scratch - using Biscuit. Looked lovely, smelled lovely - tasted God Awful!!! :(. So it spice cake for us, luckily I had a mix in the back cupboard!
I've been quilting, and managed to finish the last block - WooHoo!!! Now, since no one answered my plea for hints or advice, I jumped in and started quilting the lattice strips. Since I refuse to mark this quilt it is all eyeball work - ok, not exactly, I'm using pins to give me an indication of where I want to quilt. I'm doing X's. Not evenly spaced and I don't care, as the whole quilt is "liberated hand quilting". I figure it may take me well into May to complete the lattice and border quilting, then the binding. So I'm hoping for a June 1st finish!! Wish me luck!
One of my colleagues at work has been nagging me about the Cardinals on my bulletin board, saying I'm the reason Spring is late and she needs to see something Springish on my board. She's right, I desperately need new hangings to post at work. I vow to myself that as soon as Felines and Flutterbies is done, I will alternate my Xmas sewing (got to do that in the summer or it will never ever get done!) with a few new wall hangings FOR ME for work ! We'll just see how long this resolution lasts, my "I'll not buy fabric this year" resolution didn't ....
Not sure what I'll use these fat quarters for - but I'm sure something will come to mind ;)

Sunday, April 06, 2014

Spring has Sprung :)

Spring has sprung - for real - YEAH
I know it's real because I have a Robin hopping around in my backyard as I write! Yeah ! The sun is shining and the temp is up, I even have the back door propped open so Simone (she who can not be touched) can slip in and out at will. We are loving it!! The snow has almost all melted, my Daffodils are up an inch already - YEAH again! Oh how I love the spring!!
I'm getting close to finishing the Felines and Fluttebies - the blocks at least. Here's the 2nd last block almost finished = this week's quilting.
My experiment with 3D butterflies seems not to have worked out as hoped. Instead of standing proudly their wings are curling unnaturally. What's a girl to do? Any suggestions ????? You can see the pins I've stuck in the wings in an attempt to straighten up the wings - to no avail. As soon as I take the pins out the wings curl up again! I'm thinking of trying to starch the wings with some heavy duty starch. In hindsight I should have used heavier heat-n-bond (I used light weight stuff). Any other ideas out there ???? Would appreciate any advice! Perhaps I'll get into the sewing room and do something else one of these days when Felines is finished!!


Sunday, March 30, 2014

DIY Gone Wrong

Always loved the soup Nazi from Seinfeld, even better as the weather Nazi ;). None-the-less it IS another sunny Sunday, so I shouldn't be complaining. Remember last week's DIY gone wrong ? Well here's the $75.00 culprit .... This silly little broken plastic clip - 2 visits to the car shop (part had to be ordered) and of course can't just order the plastic clip, had to have a whole new rear wiper arm!!! All better now ...
Last week the family gathered to celebrate the birthdays of my niece and nephew. Of course we did some 4 generation pictures :)
And this week's slow progress on Felines & Futterbies
I think I'll call this block Simone after my "Don't touch me" baby. The block certainly shows the attitude Simone shows me most days. Why is it off centre? who knows, but for whatever reason that's how it is and it suits me fine. I think I like this block the best of all the kitties on this quilt.
Now, before I leave to do all my Sunday chores I want to leave you with this phenomenal work of art I discovered in my blog hopping last week, "Macrame Art by Vladimir Denshchikov"
Don't get me wrong, I'm not hugely religious, but, I remember years ago when a girl friend macramed her wedding head piece and I was duly impressed, not having developed the art of macrame myself. Well, if you are a fan of macrame this web site will blow your mind - WOW!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Let the Sun shine in :)

It"s Sunday and the sun is shining and I'm in my kitchen soaking it up. YEAH. And it's a good thing because I managed (silly me) to break my car's rear wiper. Well, not the wiper actually, I was attempting to replace the blade. As I was telling myself "this shouldn't be this hard to do" the plastic thingee which holds the two pieces together snapped!! DARN IT - now my "save yourself some $" project is going to cost me who knows how much to replace the silly plastic thingee :( In case you're wondering, the yellow j-cloth is tied on to the amputee as a visual reminder to me to NOT use the rear wiper. Appointment at the car shop on Wednesday morn...
The cats and I are going crazy. We all want the snow to just disappear and warm weather come and stay. The snow is slowly melting, I can actually see an inch or two of the patio ! We actually had a couple of days above zero last week, which didn't help me much as I napped through most of it. Consequently I am making very slow progress on Felines and Fluttterbies. The cold weather is back today, but at least it brought the sun.... 
I must be going winter mad .... I find I'm watching the same TV shows over and over and over again! Last week it was Sherlock, with Benedict Cumberbatch, same episode for the 3rd time, and Vikings , with Ragnar Lodrok - double episodes, also for the 3rd time!!! What's a girl to do ? Can't get enough of these two guys .... Anyway, off to bake a cake for my niece as we are gathering for her birthday and a 4 generation pic.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Hello Claire :)

Well, I finally made it down to my niece's place to meet wee Claire. :) :). She is such a sweet little one, and she was awake for our entire visit, well, sort of. Great Aunt Sada got to hold her while her mommy and daddy opened her presents. They were very pleased with the Owl quilt, the diaper bag, Teddy Bear, receiving blankets, bibs, carrier cover and onesie. I took down great grandma's gifts as well as she wasn't feeling well that day. The lovely white gold birthstone necklace from great grandma was a hit as was the purple Owl piggy bank! Claire's daddy was especially pleased with the vintage child's rocker and liked the fact that it was originally bought for Great Grandma. So, not only is it an antique but also a family heirloom. Sorry no pic - I forgot as I had my arms full :)
This past week was a bit of a bust for me as I was exhausted for most of the week - we got another, yes another snow storm on Wednesday followed by another extreme cold snap. ENOUGH ALREADY!  When not at work I spent the rest of the week snoozing/vegging out in my chair listening to the TV, but did accomplish this much on my Felines and Flutterbies. Just 4 more blocks to go!
Found this lovely little poem in my travels recently in Blogland:
I've embroidered a frock,
   And I've sewn the long seams,
While I stitched up a heartache
   And mended my dreams.

I've patched a torn garment,
   And darned a big rent
While I've worked in new hopes
   And a sweeter content.

Why stitching brings gladness,
   Or ease for Life's pain,
And healing from sadness,
   I cannot explain.

But for little hopes baffled,
   And foolish tears shed,
I have sought and found comfort
   With needle and thread.
from The Book of Good Needlework no.4  ( 1930's)


Monday, March 10, 2014

Impulse buy

So this is my flat-to-the-wall (aka china cabinet). I bought it maybe 20 yrs ago when "antique" prices were high. Whoever had it before had done a horrible job of refinishing and the inside was electric blue! It took most of a summer to refinish the outside. I never was able to get rid of the blue, so stripped it then repainted the inside with a nice blue milk paint - popular paint at the time. Now a days I would probably use chalk paint. I've never been truly happy with it, always suspecting its a marriage of several parts. The one corner was broken off/repaired, the bottom doors are obviously not original and they never shut properly, but it holds a lot of china ;). So, this past week while perusing Kijiji I saw something advertised that took my fancy ..... 
Now, I have to be honest, I don't actually believe the hype in the Kijiji ad. This piece is not from 1880's, and is not a jam cupboard. I also suspect there have been some alterations to it. However, it is in better shape than the current bottom half to my fttw (flat-to-the-wall). I have to do a wee bit of work on the right door hinge and find a skeleton key/handle of some sort. At some point I will have to empty the fttw and get "the boys" (brother-in-law and nephew) over to help make the big switcheroo. BTW, those Hydrangeas on the top are from my front garden! In the meantime I'm kinda liking it's new location and have already found lots of stuff to store inside. Uhohhh !
Of course this has meant a shifting of other pieces on my main floor and now the hall stand is further into the dining area which means it is further for me to go to hang up my keys everyday, but Iris has already decided she likes its and has made it her new go to place. Meanwhile Simone is upset as her food dishes were moved and she is discombobulated - hey ya gotta shake up their world somehow!  They are both feeling terribly house bound and suspect Spring is just around the corner. In fact they have both just stepped outside onto the back step - mommy shoveled it for them. There's no place for them to go as there is still 2 feet of snow out there, however they are outside !! Woohoo!

So that's been my excitement for this week, how about you?

Sunday, March 02, 2014

It's March !!

A friend just reported on FB that she saw a flock of Robins in her backyard! Hard to believe considering we got another - yes, another 5cm of snow last night !! None-the-less I'm sooooo sick of winter I'll believe anything about now. I was going to bundle up and go shovel the sidewalk - again, but I see they're out there (finally) plowing and shoveling - yeah for condo living.
Above is a wee collection of new patterns - I do have grand plans - just never enough time! Meadow Lily was picked up for 10 cents at the guild rummage sale, Oh Sew Charming sometime this past winter, and I just picked up the Dancing Umbrellas. Think they would make a cute April square for me Table frame -if I can get to it!
I'm back to Felines and Flutterbies and am working my way through the blocks. Here's this week's block. My quilting doesn't show up too well in this pic - instead of just random quilting I tried to follow the subtle swirl pattern in the background fabric. I plan in quilting in a butterfly in the top left corner. Thought I was almost done, but when I laid the quilt out on the floor just now I realise I have 6 more blocks to quilt! YIKES - then I have to decide what I want to do with the borders and lattice strips between the blocks. Any suggestions???
All day Sherlock marathon today in BBC Canada - totally hooked, got to get moving and complete the day's chores so I can sit and quilt while watching these 2 guys. Also re-hooked on Vikings. This past week was the premier of season 2 - oh yah , Ragnar Lothbrok - oh yah ;)