Friday, November 30, 2012

One More Day Until December

Is it possible?  We have arrived at December and I still feel like I am catching up from June!  Eek!
My dining room table (the only one we have) is covered with bits and pieces of my dad's Christmas gift that has to get done and in the mail.  My thread painting project of my daughter and my pencil crayons are spread out....and somewhere in there is my Certificate of Achievement for passing  acing my Uncontracted Braille course.  My living room is littered with TV trays....this is where we will be eating until the table is clear. I'm so glad my family loves me!

My to do list for today includes:

  • FINISH dad's gift!
  • Clean off table
  • Shop for baking supplies
  • Drop girls off for play date and lunch with a girl they met in the musical they were in
  • Bake like there is no tomorrow (it all has to be ready for tomorrow for a bake sale for dance)
  • Find a quick pattern and make two place mats that can be done for Monday (I totally lost track of time....our guild is making them for Meals on Wheels to be distributed with meals at Christmas)
  • Make the Block of the Month for Monday
  • Make something to take to our Christmas potluck on Monday
  • Write my CQA bit for our guild to get in the newsletter  DONE!!
  • First....I guess I should get dressed

To get me going in December (while still praying that the experiment taking place on my Laptop works...I'm starting to worry...especially with comments like "bring back to factory standards" (meaning everything on there will be wiped out....this is not a good thing).....
I have joined Kat over at I Saw You Dancing for Reverb'12 (she has described it as a "gentle" blog challenge with December being so busy).  Pop on over and join with me.  Wishing you a kind and "gentle" December.  Remember to be kind to yourself as you continue to bless others.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Laptop Update

Well...there's power.  That's good news!  But....he can't get past the initial start up screen yet....not great news.  There is hope that involves a little reprogramming and then I will be back in business!!  Until then I still can only periodically jump on our old is soooooo slooooooowwwwwww... to read comments and reply.  No picture posts for now.

On Saturday I went to Fibre Day with ASH (Atlantic Spinners and Handweavers).  It was nice to sit, spin, and relax.  Other members worked on creating Temari Balls.  BEAUTIFUL!  I've made some before but nothing like what the woman demonstrating had made.  I have photos...will post soon hopefully!

After a cleaning spree yesterday, I was able to put up some Christmas decorations and clear an area for the Christmas tree.  We pick that up on Sunday.  The girls were so excited to come home after a long day at school to see decorations up.  Holidays are difficult without any family around (my husbands are in Ottawa; mine are in BC) so we are working on creating our own family traditions that don't involve the traditional trip to grandparents for dinners and gatherings.

Today, the sewing machine is coming up to my kitchen table (I definitely need to ask Santa for a space heater for my sewing room) and I am making my dad his Christmas gift and hopefully finishing the borders on the Lone Star.

Hoping everyone out there is doing well.  Enjoy this beautiful day!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Things Happen in 3's

I was excited about the number of people that visited my blog and that got me excited about posting more regularly.  It's hard to get motivated when you think only your mom reads your posts (Thanks Mom!).  If you haven't checked out the hosts bloggers or their linked blogs, you really have too. Sew Sisters has put together a wonderful list.  There is so much creativity happening across Canada! 

The host blogs!

Sunday, November 18
Monday, November 19
Monday, November 19
Tuesday, November 20
Tuesday, November 20
Wednesday, November 21
Wednesday, November 21
Thursday, November 22
Thursday, November 22
Friday, November 23
Friday, November 23
Saturday, November 24
Saturday, November 24
Saturday, November 24

I must have put too much positive energy out in to the universe about everything I wanted to accomplish this week because it has very quickly brought me back to reality! lol

This is how the past 24 hrs has looked....

I sat down to start a post Yesterday morning, my daughter bumped the power cord on my laptop and the screen went black.  I hit the power button and there was enough "umph" to light up the button and shut off.  It hasn't started since.  I have a Braille assignment due that is on there, my daughter has an assignment due on there, the photos that I haven't transferred to my external hard drive.  A friend is going to look at it today...please say a little prayer for it.  It sounds silly but the most important purpose of my laptop is keeping connected with my family.  I live in NS; my whole immediate family lives in BC...thank you Skype!  We can't get skype working on this old clunker. 

Then....I took a "quick" drive to the Valley via Truro!!!  I was thinking about my laptop, the budget, thinking about family and wishing for a mini holiday...perhaps a short trip to PEI.  Deep down I must have really wanted to go to PEI because it did not dawn on me that I was on the wrong HWY until I saw the sign for the PEI ferry or Amherst! and still it didn't really connect that I was in Truro and not Avonport until I took the Amherst exit! lol It then turned in to a cross country trip to get over to the valley getting me to my destination about 2 hrs later (total 3hrs for a 55 min trip).  The good part was that I didn't have time to browse the fabrics at leisure...I had to get home for my children!  I walked in the door minutes before my children walked in.  My husband thought it was hilarious and that it supported his claim that I have absolutely no sense of direction or time.  

My plan for today was to go out to pick up a couple of Christmas gifts and to go check out the 50% off  sale at Fabricville.  I want to fill in some of those holes in my stash with some bright WOW! colours at a relatively affordable price and I need some batting for my poppy.  After tearing my house apart all morning I realized that my husband was the last person to have my keys. My keys are downtown Halifax.  The bus service out here is horrible and my girls have dance after school.  Grateful for a friend from dance that is zipping in to pick the girls up.  My husband has figured out a bus route that gets him close to home and leaves him with an hour plus walk home (in the dark, up and over lots of hills) so that he can go pick them up.  Again...another shot at browsing fabric gone! lol  Is there a conspiracy?

I'm hoping this is the end of my 3's and my laptop is fixable
...fingers crossed.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Welcome to NS

Sew Sisters Quilt Shop is hosting a Blog-a-thon.  Each day between now and Nov 24th, bloggers across Canada are participating.  Yesterday we visited BC; today we are in the Maritimes.  If you are like me and still relatively a baby in the blogging world and would like to meet fellow Canadian Blogging Quilters or are simply in need of some awesome inspiration, then you should definitely check out these posts.  The host blogger lists other blogs from their home province in their post. Visit Sew Sisters at the link provided to see their list of host bloggers (pssstttt...there are also give-aways).

If you are stopping by for the first time via the Blog-a-thon then welcome to my relatively new blog.  I in definitely in learning mode!  Stop by frequently as I add and update.  

A little about me...I moved to NS almost 2 1/2 yrs ago from Ottawa.  My two kids (very soon to be 10 & 12) have forgiven me for all the Ottawa and area shop hops that I regularly took them out on and now willingly head to the Annapolis Valley with me to purchase fabric and fibre.  They have caught their own little bug...they have become avid knitters and love fabric.  I started quilting in '93 then took a break to go back to school, get married and started up again when I had my children.  After another brief hiatus I am happily picking up my needle again!  When I don't have fabric in my hand I can be found behind my spinning wheel....or waiting, waiting, waiting at various activities with my drop spindle.

What's new in  my little corner of the world???  We survived Annie weekend.  Both my girls performed in the musical Annie.  It was a blast; it was a lot of is over.  Now we are all trying to re-energize and get back in to routine.  I had big plans for yesterday!  Lots of the list involved catching up on laundry, cleaning, tidying another corner in the sewing room and SEWING!!!!!  Reality...I curled up on the couch, read a book, and slept!

Today....trying again.  I went down and sat in my sewing room for inspiration.  My goal is to not start anything new until I weed through my pile of UFOs.  However, this little stack of fabric keeps calling me...

My 9 yr old aspiring quilter (she has a little tutorial here showing how she designed and made a pillow for her cousin a couple of Christmases ago)picked these bundles up for me at CQA in Halifax.  We arrived just moments before the vendors mall closed.  She ran in and surveyed the shelves and came back with these treats.  The bundle on the left was from Mad About Patchwork.  Their booth was stunning and deliciously colourful.  There is no way you could walk past without your eyes pulling you back in! The star shaped bundle and larger piece was from The Running Stitch.  It was so wonderful to see them there.  I frequented The Running Stitch when we lived in Ottawa.  We spent our last milliseconds in their stall wishing we had more time to check out all their lovely fabrics.  I have a Christmas gift to make for my father (and am still mentally stuck on what to do) but I have a couple other little ones that I adore and if there is time they might just get a little something using these fabrics.  Too many little time!!!

I was also perusing my fabric stash now that it is all tidied up and pretty much unpacked.

It is pretty small compared to other stashes that I have seen.  I gave away A LOT of fabric prior to our move to groups making quilts for charity.  I didn't relish the idea of slugging everything from Ontario to Nova Scotia.  My cousin in Saskatchewan warned me that I would regret it and...well...I do in a way but then I don't.  Looking at this photo I see a lot of earth tones...that is where my head used to be.  Then I had children and things got a bit more colourful but now all I can think about is bright, vibrant, and WOW!  I have colour holes that need to be filled.  I really must discuss this with Santa.  He has often been such a great enabler of my habit...fabric, thread, notions, etc...He knows it brings me joy and when I have joy then the whole family is happy!

I would LOVE to meet fellow quilters in NS!  It would definitely make it feel a little more like home for me.  Let me know if there is a quilt show (or shop) in your area, what craft shows are going on or what you are working on.  Is there a Modern Quilt Guild in the area?  Come along for the ride and follow me. 

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Waiting For...

These days I wait...a lot!
I wait for daughters to dance...6 hours per week.
I wait for daughters at music lessons...1 hour per week.
I waited at musical rehearsals ranging from 4 hours to recently 12/18 hours per week.
....some weeks that is 25 hours of sitting and waiting!  And I love it!  I love watching my girls do what they love most.  To make it even better I decided I should spend the time doing what I love most.

Meet my best friend to wait with....

My spindle and Shetland fleece are becoming quite recognizable at the recreation centre and at rehearsals.  It sparks a lot of questions and conversation AND best of all...because of my spindle, I met a fellow spinner.  As I sat with my spindle at dress rehearsals this weekend, one of the cast approached me.  She spins and weaves...since moving to NS; she is my first spinner that I have met.  I have met a few that have spinning wheels but don't spin or want to learn how to spin "when there is more time" but definitely my first spinner.  I have since been contacted by the Spinning and Weaving Guild and invited to join them at their fibre day on the 24th and to join the Guild.  

I tried contacting the guild when we first moved here without any luck...and then life got busy and there just wasn't time but I miss the companionship of fellow spinners as much as I did quilters.  That commonality...that thread that ties us together...people that completely understand the stray threads and bits of fluff on your clothes (your kid's clothes, your husband's clothes) and don't look at you oddly when you pull out a stick thingy and a ball of fluff; people that understand the amount of time that you spend creating something for the pure joy of it.

I love my spindle...I need to start looking through the stash to blend something wonderful to spin at fibre day. 

Friday, November 16, 2012

Poppies and Playing

I absolutely love poppies!  They are my favourite flower.  When I saw this wall hanging a few years ago, I just had to get it.  Unfortunately they didn't have any kits left so last year I thought about it again and called the shop up.  They shipped it off to me and it went on my shelf.  

Recently I discovered that there was a large light table at my husband's workplace so after getting permission to use it, he signed me in and I spent a day happily tracing out the pieces.  Not a soul noticed me there until I was getting ready to leave then all my patterns and fusible web sparked a few questions....apparently no one has used the light table in years!  Then I had to use my homemade milk crate light table that I made when I was 15 to piece everything together.  My back and knees were killing me! lol  I would love to have the workplace light table in my basement!

Fusing pieces using my pressing mat and my milk crate light table.
The key phrase for a few days was "watch the's hot!" and "Mom, where can we walk/sit?"

Fusing to background

Ready to layer and quilt

I am not a confident free motion quilter. I love the process of MAKING a quilt but get completely stumped with the actual quilting.  I think it was all those beginner quilting classes that ended with the dreaded phrase of "Quilt as Desired"! do you desire when you have never quilted anything before or been taught anything about quilting design, thread, etc?  Eventually, Quilt as Desired meant...send to my friend Pat!  Pat always knows what to do!  Now I live in NS and Pat lives in ON and I'm thinking I should actually learn something about quilting design and improve my new free motion skills that I learned when I made the sunflower!

On Wednesday, my husband and kids sent me to my sewing room to take a break from life while they prepared supper.  I have been watching a Thread Art workshop on Craftsy by Lola Jennings so thought I would give it a try.  I traced out an enlarged photo on some scrap muslin, threaded my machine with some charcoal thread and set to work without worrying about mistakes.  It is very liberating to just play!! I'm not quite finished...still some detail in the background to do and the post of the play structure.  It turned out much better than I expected (and now wishing I had grabbed better fabric!)