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Sunday, December 22, 2013

Happy Holidays !

Several years ago I purchased a panel with several old fashioned Santa Claus on it. I made several of these panels and gave some away. Recently I saw a pic of 3 of them in our guild newsletter and dug mine out, here's the one I have in my front door currently ...
Well, I don't know about you but I've been way too busy! I have survived 3 potluck dinners, including the "surprise" potluck I arranged for my sewing group ladies. Phew! That was quite the task and
amazingly it all went off without a hitch and was a surprise :) . I won't go into all the crazy details ... suffice it to say my organization skills were taxed, and being a bit of a
perfectionist I was worried everything would fall apart.  So I was relieved when it all worked out. My sewing lady friends are a great bunch of ladies, and I was pleasantly surprised with a couple of gifts! A fab sewing bag from C M-R Thank You!, and some antique china (4 desert and 4 bread & butter plates) from B M, another Thank you! Now how did she know I like antique china , hmmmmm. And then there was my "secret Santa gift ...
Woohoo! I love it ! a metre each of fab Xmas fabric, enough to make placemats (as suggested) or a real nice table runner! That's going into the Holiday sewing basket for next year :) :)
 I have also survived 3 holiday parties and additional shopping tasks (I now do some of the mater's shopping). Officially I am now on vacation (YEAH) and spent the first day cleaning and holiday decorating. I wasn't going to as Xmas is only 4 days away, but I have to admit I love love love all the red (my favourite colour) and my tree is up :) I'm staying inside again today as we are enduring an "ice storm" - more like a bit a freezing rain but you know the 24 hr news/weather channels always dramatize any bit of inclement weather ...
I have finished most of my holiday sewing and knitting. Here is a pic of the5 ruffle scarves I knit, then re-knit as I didn't like how they turned out the first time! (to be honest, one of them is for me ...). And then there are the 2 Xmas aprons I made for my sister & brother-in-law since they always make the Xmas dinner.... and just for the fun of it a few (6) kitchen towels to hang on the stove ...
Just one more sewing task to complete today, then I can start wrapping up all these presents! Phew!

Have a very Merry one everyone :)

Sunday, December 08, 2013

It's a Hit!

Today was baby shower day. My niece is due in late February. Can you guess what they are expecting?
My sister held the baby shower and it was well attended and lots of fun! Don't know about you but I enjoy showers as you get to see the creative wrappings and all the new products out there.
Lisa was pleased with the three bibs I made (2 in PUL Owl fabric, and 1 in Peter rabbit fabric). Wish I had made more, just not enough time! She also loved the baby socks my fellow Sew What's (stitch-n-bitch group) friend made, THANKS ANN!!
Of course the big hit was the Owl quilt, even though it's not even quilted yet!! I've got a machine quilter booked for January, after the Xmas rush, so it should be ready for when the baby is born! Yeah !

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Snow Day?

This was my morning wakeup call! Who ever heard of a snow day on a Sunday :(. The library is closed, here's hoping they stay closed tomorrow, as it is still snowing - YIKES! That's my patio table stranded out there in the middle of the backyard. The condo people announced they will be roofing starting on Monday, so dear B-I-L and sister came over & moved the table off the patio so it wouldn't be damaged. Roofing ? Doubt it, not with 2' of snow! Luckily it's not too cold out, yeah. Still took me an hour to shovel out 1/2 of the sidewalk. More shoveling to come :(.
So, the winter time crunch has hit, and even though I have great plans/dreams I just know I will never get to sewing all those Christmas table runners, etc. So instead I have taken up knitting! Geesh, I haven't knit for oh, a couple of decades at least! Thanks to a fellow quilter who showed me the "trick" @ quild night (Thank you Karen C), I have one completed ruffle scarf (the blue one), one started (the blue & green one) and plans for at least 1-2 more! Resolution - I will start the table runners, etc I didn't get made this year in January so they will be ready for next year!!
Last night I managed to plan the last borders for the Owl quilt, and get the words bonded. I was planning on zigzagging around all the letters this afternoon - but will probably spend it shoveling  instead :(. Wish me luck!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Feeling old ...

Don't ya just love Judi Dench ? I'm feeling old, suddenly many of my favourite products are dropping off the shelf! What's a girl to do? First it was my favourite soup mix, darn, I'll have to make this from scratch!
Next it was my favourite chocolate bar (OH NO!!!! I need my chocolate !) I used to keep a stock of 5-6 in the house, 'cause you never know when a crisis would occur and chocolate was needed ...
Now it's the tea I have been drinking for the last 40-50 years .... Are you kidding me!
But wait - I actually found a grocery store in my neck of the woods which still carries this. So to be safe I now have a stock of 6-8 boxes. That should keep me going for awhile! Perhaps this is what the future holds as I continue to age ..... I'm not going to enjoy the ride as I find I am becoming a creature of habit :(
Today's mission is to get the Owl blocks put together into a quilt top. If I have any time left over I will re-cut the blades for the Dresden plate table topper I miscut last week. Of course, being Sunday tonight is Doc Martin, Masterpiece Theatre and Downtown Abbey YEAH YEAH YEAH. I shall be in from of the boob tube knitting ruffle scarves - three more to go before Xmas.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

The Eyes have it ;)

Well, the eyes have it! I have added the eyes to all the owls. Now I need to do the sashing and corner stones and the top is ready for quilting. Good thing as the baby shower is the first week of December! Yikes!!
Still basking in the glow from our reunion weekend, it was so much fun! Here we are outside a shop called "Dead People's Stuff". What a great name for an antique store ... Yes, we did some shopping, and No, it was not fabric shopping - amazing for me ;)
Now I'm thick into planning 1, 2 or maybe 3 Christmas table runners, so spent the night digging through my Xmas fabric box(es). I think I have found three different patterns, and three different colour combos. Looking forward to getting back to the sewing machine. I plan to machine quilt these, so wish me luck! I will definitely provide pics when these are done - wait for it ;).
The calendar is filling up quickly. Have started the planning for the potluck/Secret Santa dinner for my Sew What stitching group. Then there's family and work stuff coming up. Somewhere in all this I need to start my Xmas shopping, help the parents, do the church dinner thingee, theatre, work a weekend, etc. I'm certainly looking forward to my week off @ Christmas, can't wait!!


Sunday, October 27, 2013

Happy Reunion weekend!

So this past weekend was our reunion at a cottage in Sand Banks. That's Bobbi (Roberta), Jo (Joanna) and me around the fabulous Carrot cake Bobbi made. 6 candles representing our joint 60th Bdays this year, collectively that makes us 240 - OMG! We've known each other since we were 8/9 as we all grew up in the old "hood"
We were  bombarded by sand flies for a bit hence the fly swatter in Bobbi's hands. That's Col (Colleen) in the green sweater. I haven't seen 2 of these ladies since high school, but I must say we haven't changed a bit .... ok, maybe a little, a bit of weight, a bit of grey and a couple of changes in hair style. It was such a great weekend, I just wish I could have contributed more to everyone's reminiscing. I was in West Africa for a couple of years, then my family moved away from the "Acres", our old neighbourhood. We shared stories and examples of our creativity and I took up my digital picture frame so we each shared family pics. The ladies loved the mug rugs I made them and we were surprised by Col who made each of us a necklace! It was sooooo nice to have a weekend away and to get together with "the girls" from way back when. What fun ! Thank you ladies, and thanks Colleen for suggesting this great reunion! I will treasure the memories :)

I did manage, in all that excitement to complete one more Owl, just one row to go .... here it is so far
That's all for now, gotta go ....

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Happy Turkey Day everyone :)

It's Thanksgiving weekend (for us Canadians).  What happened to September? and, don't even bother to blink because it will be Xmas before you know it! I haven't even started my shopping yet .... It's going to be one of those years :( I am in the Thanksgiving mood though and finally this year I have baked something pumpkiny - the Pumpkin Cranberry Pecan muffins were yummy I must say:).
So I've been busy putting my wee garden and the patio to bed and getting ready for this long weekend, and my "reunion" weekend next week. None-the-less I have also been busy making Owls, my life right now. Here's this week's production
They look kind ghoulish without eyes, but that will come soon. Ok, off to finish the house cleaning, and oh, I forgot to get Cool Whip for the Pumpkin Pie. Can't have that! I guess I'll run out to the store - again!

Monday, October 07, 2013

It's a Wild Life!

So, as the image above says it all! I was scheduled to work this past weekend. Not my favourite thing to do on a weekend, but it has some advantages. Fewer people at work to interrupt you and 2 weekdays off work to get things done :). A friend and I managed to catch George (yes that's Mr. Clooney) and Sandra (Bullock) in Gravity. Not bad at all! 
On my way into work Saturday imagine my surprise as this guy ran across my path. At first I though someone's German Shepard was loose. Wait, that's not a dog, what the heck is that. Wait - I watch enough nature shows on PBS, I should be able to ID this animal ..... it's a Coyote! Wow,  Mr. Wile E. crossed my path @ 8:30 am. How impressive is that? Actually it was a 4 lane road which is normally very busy during the morning commute, so lucky dog (I think they are
part of the canine family) it was a Saturday morn, he took a quick look at the 2 cars on the road then loped off towards the fire station. Ok, that's cool.
Well, just to round off my "wild" weekend, I was taking my recycling to the curb last night, in the dark, in the rain. I was in a hurry as I wanted to get back and watch Doc Martin on PBS. I dropped off the 2 boxes then looked up - what ? Who let the Dog Out? - wait, that's not a dog! UH OH, it's a baby skunk and it's about 6 inches away from me !!!!! I backed up verrrrrry carefully. Phew!!
Well, I've been having my own fun indoors with wild life. I'm well on my
way into the Owls baby quilt. I wasn't going to show them online until the project was done, but I'm having so much fun ... So here are a few. I know what you're thinking, where the heck and the Owl's eyes ? Well, the first one I made had eyes, then I decided I wanted to have the eyes going in different directions. By that I mean each Owl looking in a different direction at another Owl in the quilt. I think it would give movement to the quilt. So that's the idea. Below are the Owls completed (sort of) so far. I'll work on the arrangement once they are all done, then applique the eyes in place. Hoping to get this completed along with finishing putting the patio/garden to bed for the (shhh) winter, my Christmas shopping and sewing and my upcoming girlfriend reunion. I'm tired already but excited and looking forward to it all:)

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Upcoming Reunion

So a childhood friend recently proposed a reunion between us and two other ladies from the old neighbourhood. She managed to contact everyone via Facebook. Well, several, and I mean several emails later it's all set! Whoohoo! I am sooooo looking forward to the weekend when we will get together at a resort north of here. I'm hoping the Fall colours will still be brilliant as it will be a long drive. I decided to celebrate our reunion by making the ladies (all of whom are non quilters) mug rugs. I used up the last remnants of my favourite cupcake fabric and even found some cookie fabric for the backings! Hope the ladies like them :)
A couple of the ladies I haven't seen/heard from since high school, and one not since public school (?), so  I've been pondering what will we talk about besides the usual how's your family? Frequently, when trying to get re-acquainted one asks what they are reading or watching on TV. Personally, I tend to watch PBS and TVO. I'm soooo sick of commercials and the preponderance of hapless girls/women in rape/snuff  dramas. Maybe it's the feminist in me, or maybe I just don't think 27 episodes a week of CSI Special Victims Unit are sending a good message! I thought it was just me and my politicized perspective until I read this article: TV Noir: the Saddest Cliche in the World from the Baffler. (Yes, I found the article through my favourite website Arts & Letters Daily).  Now her article also brings up the issue of child abuse, also way too frequently depicted (think about it ....). So others think our media have simply run out of plot lines! Other than refashioning (read sexualizing) childhood "fairy"tales or being truly creative they rely on that old stereotype of the helpless woman being victimized. I'll stick to home renovation/decorating or nature shows while stitching, thank you very much!

Sunday, September 22, 2013


 I used to work with a gentleman who delighted in celebrating coincidences. Walter Z is retired now (hi Walter!) but his enthusiasm and zest for life still pervades my everyday, and I now notice coincidences much more than I used to.  So the other day on the way to work I was listening to a CBC story about France trying to ban Toddler & Tiara type pageants. Later that day it seems the story reached the rest of mainstream media. As the Washington Post says, No Honey Boo Boos in France: Parliament moves to ban kiddie pageants and the New York Times French Senate Approves Ban on Pageants for Young Girls. YEAH France! My Arts & Letters Daily website led me to a good article from Pacific Standard " Just Say 'Non" to Child Beauty Pagaents."  Now I don't usually get too political on this blog, but after the Miley Cyrus insanity and the silly Quebec's Charter of Values we needed something which makes sense from the french ....
Sorry for this week's rant ... but now for my second coincidence, while still on Arts & Letters Daily I wondered onto to this article "The History and Psychology of Clowns being Scary". The mater sent me a cute video joke relating to clowns. It's about Halloween magic, but be patient, there is a clown. Here it is:
Ok, for my last coincidental happening this past week. Well, maybe not an actual coincidence, more like my great luck! I have been admiring this rather expensive line of Christmas fabric in the local fabric store. Grey and White with some red. My niece LOVES most things grey ... So this week they had one of their frequent 50% off sale, so, yes I was weak and indulged
Aren't they gorgeous? I "hope" to make a spiral Christmas runner from these lovelies. I say "hope" because I just realized that my niece's due date is earlier than I thought so I need to get a move on especially since I hand quilt! Here are the final fabrics choices for the Owl quilt. I have been totally enjoying my liberated quilting of Felines and Flutterbies, but sadly, this quilt will have to, once again go into the UFO bin while I work on Owls. Here's my progress so far for F&F: