Monday, 22 May 2017

A Little News

It seems I am living up to my new mantra already and going to be away from my blog and the internet for a week.  This will give me some withdrawal symptoms for sure but a little break is good.

I am going on our annual journey with older grandson and his grandfather. It will all be by train which is my favourite way to travel.

None of my current stitching projects are going with me...too big for a tiny rolly suitcase.  Instead I prepped a small embroidery project because I couldn't think of being away without something to work on.  A little addicted too I know!

Here is that project- Kathy Schmitz's Stitched in Red series.
  I bought all 12 monthly patterns a while ago and finally decided it was time to make a start.  And it would be nice if the lighting in the hotel will be conducive to me doing a little stitching at the end of the days.   This is the block for May and there is lots for me to like about it.  First off, I love redwork and  though our Bees and Blooms are just making an appearance here they are nonetheless so appreciated.

                                      Bees 'n Blooms (May)

Did any of you work on this particular project of Kathy's?  Have you seen her latest designs...so simple yet so sweet.  This one is called Bees in the Bowers and it has my name on it!

                                Bees in the Bowers


You know what I'm really going to miss this week...visiting your blogs.  But I'll think about you and know there will be some wonderful reading waiting for me when I get home.

Have a wonderful week all!

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Welcome to my New Mantra

I've talked before about how I have a dominant worry gene in my makeup.

 If there is nothing to worry about I'll dream up something.  I'll drift further away from family, friends and the usual.  I'll think about asteroids hitting the earth or the sun losing its heat. Yeah, really bad I am.  I come by this honestly because my mother was a first class worrier when the three of us were little.  She would have kept us all tied to the stove and thereby " safe" if she could have.

Just recently in our weekly chat, she was recounting how she worried so much about my brother having a bicycle and had said no he wasn't going to have one. Finally, my father put his foot down (not very hard being my father) and said every boy should have a bike...besides he'll just borrow his friend's if he doesn't have his own.  So my brother got a bike and survived.  But she had a laugh retelling this story which was so typical of her caution.

Daughter sent me this on Facebook one day because it is so me.

                              Image result for when you don't answer your mom's texts


After talking about this in a post several years back, my sister sent me this book for Christmas, Worrying by Francis O'Gorman.  Very interesting and who knew there is a history of worrying as a topic. I enjoyed reading it and not just because he says worry is the mark of higher intelligence, lol.


The futility of worry is familiar to me. It is such a waste of good energy.

The other thing is since retiring I've made my various hobbies into my "work" and sometimes let the same sense of urgency I applied to my workweek creep into my time.  I've had to remind myself there is no timetable, no deadline, no one waiting on me for anything.  Anything I engage in is all of my own choosing, the doing and finishing completely up to me.

 In other words,

 I can totally suit myself.  


 It struck me last week when I was fretting about how long a couple of my latest projects have been taking with the cross stitching and hand stitching.  I realized really who cares.  As long as I'm still pleased with them myself and enjoying the process.  Who the heck cares. NOBODY

So my new mantra


No Hurry, No Worry resolution was born. 

Now I just need to learn to live it, really live it.  




Thursday, 18 May 2017

Sharing Some Likeable Stuff


Quilt Dot Magnets from MassDrop.  A really cute gift. I'd mistakenly thought they were just regular magnets but they are actually jewelry and pop in and out of a holder in a necklace or bracelet.  There are a number of themes and they sure look pretty. Quilt pattern inspiration all over the place too.

           


Image result for quilt dot magnets


Thoughts of my stomach and what I'm putting into it are never far from my mind!

Kate Middleton's favourite dessert is Sticky Toffee Pudding and these dense cake like puddings with sauces are familiar from my childhood.  Mom made a wonderful Brown Sugar Sauce that was actually drinkable. How we all think our mother's cooking was the best!

Barry at Rock Recipes has perfected what he terms the perfect Sticky Toffee Pudding recipe.

I am determined to try Barry's recipe before the heat of summer hits and we will want lighter, cooler desserts. It has two ingredients Hubby and I both love- dates and molasses.

Perfect Sticky Toffee Pudding

Annies' Pattern Central features this widely loved and most purchased pattern called Sticks and Stones. There's a lot to like here. The chance to use up scraps is always appreciated by quilters and being an easy pattern adds to its popularity. Those black sashes really set off the bright colours.

Sticks & Stones

This is a short article by Becky Blades and I very much identified with what she had to say. I wonder will some of you.  This is well written, easy to read and not very long.

Four Wounds We All Walk Around With

From the art work of Mary Angela this very cute poster I found  at Knitted Bliss just says it all, doesn't it?  (Though it has been quite a few decades since I've thought of myself as a girl.)



Hope there is lots to like and love in your days as we move through the merry month of May!

I will be visiting  LeeAnna's  Not Afraid of Color and Michelle's  It's a Small Town Life to read more likes and thankful things.

Sunday, 14 May 2017

Shoulds and Shouldn'ts For Quilters

Maybe you are in a good place when it comes to being satisfied with your work which is a wonderful place to be. And I do see so many beautiful projects and even what I would call works of art when I visit your blogs.  I love doing that.

I may some day get to that place of being totally satisfied with my own work. Though I must admit, I'm settling down and feeling happier the more I learn and practice.  That being said I really liked this video by Angela Walters called Three Things Quilters Should Stop Doing.



Two comments really resonated with me.  I wonder if you can figure out which two.

Here is my little Tulips project hanging on the wall. I finally finished appliquing those red cornerstones.
  I was half afraid to look at the photo because I find the camera shows me what it looks like better than my eye. There are waves here that it does not have so is straighter in real life. Honestly!

 I followed Allie's lead and edged with greens and then with what will be a thin border of red.  I totally lucked out with this red from my cupboard which is an orangy kind of red and suited the bright greens really well.



I am so happy it is now a quilt sandwich and I can begin the hand quilting. I found a pretty white tone on tone fabric in my stash; it features fields of flowers and even tulips so seemed to be just right.
  I'm loving the size of this which will be quite manageable in my lap.


As always I'll start in the center and work my way out and hope that that will prevent any extra puckers.  I'm thinking of some outline stitching around the tulips to begin.
 What do you think?

Happy Stitching All

I will be happily joining the other slow stitchers at Kathy's Quilts and the happy scrappy quilters at Quilting is More Fun Than Housework  and still other crafters at Quilting Room With Mel and Small Quilts and Doll Quilts.

Friday, 12 May 2017

Hate to Cut Good Fabric?


I love to reread some of my old posts especially if something about them catches my eye. In this case I'm happy to note my  fear of cutting good fabric is lessening.  So I am moving along! I am also still wearing that outfit!

Are you like me and hate to cut into a lovely piece of fabric?

 I can't help think that I am going to ruin it somehow.  So I have hung onto my best fabrics till my skills improve or the project really warrants it, so I tell myself.  Meanwhile I sometimes take them out, give them a pat, and return them to their 'safe from my shears' box.

My Farmer's Wife book came with a CD and Hubby printed out the first ten blocks for me. What would I do without him?


The very first block honours an unknown farm woman, "Addie", which I imagine is short for Adelaide or Adeline.  I love this fact because one of my great-grandmothers was Adelaide and she is the one who had very curly hair to which I owe my own curly locks.

 But just look at this block; all I see are points.  Eek. And it will entail the cutting of fabric.

Meanwhile, do you have Old Navy stores where you live?  I don't usually shop there but Daughter was there buying back to school things for grandson so I had a look around.  I found this outfit for $23; I love skirts (hide my thighs) and have trouble finding ones that have volume (to hide said thighs). This one fit the bill.



Looks comfy, heh?


Thursday, 11 May 2017

Liking Matryoshkas and Happy Little Mother's Day

We are being asked here not to cut down the dandelions...the first food of the season for the bees. This is okay for us folks living in the country but it poses more problems in the suburbs.

This is a gorgeous short film featuring  time lapse photography of a dandelion going to seed.  I liked it very much.


And the dandelions here are just opening. Maybe the lack of sun has something to do with that.
 Below is a photo of the masses of dandelions that grew on our old property, quite pretty on the lane way.  Note, both dogs managed to photobomb this photo!


This Sunday is Mother's Day here in Canada which I understand is celebrated all over the world. Speaking of which, we got a parcel in the mail from my mother.  She sent some of her hand knit things...cowls for the daughters and myself as well as dozens of dishcloths, and knitted long socks for Hubby which he will definitely appreciate next winter. He definitely likes that.

I'm so happy that at 83, Mom can still knit and pursue so many of her favourite hobbies. When I was talking to her, she  was very happy she could still remember how to turn the sock heel because it has been a while since she last knit socks.  Mom doesn't need patterns or instructions and I just don't know how she can do that.


Honouring mothers, all the different kind of mothers is such a great thing.

For without motherhood, where would society be?? And grandmas too.  The number of grandmothers raising grandchildren just keeps growing.

I love these nesting doll sets and sadly lost a small collection of them that I had gathered from all the places I visited.
This is an original Matryoshka doll set made in 1892.  I like how the mother is wearing an apron and carrying a rooster. I have lots of aprons and I  keep thinking I would like to have chickens.


                      
             
 So I hope if you are celebrating as a mother or a nana, you have a great day.

                    Image result for matryoshka doll happy mothers day
   Join me in visiting all the liking at Not Afraid of Color and all the thankfulness at It's a Small Town Life.                                   

Sunday, 7 May 2017

I Need More Fabric

I'm plugging away at my two fabric projects, the Tuesday's Flowers, a Quiltmania free pattern and Allie's Tiptoe Through the Tulips. I switch back and forth working on them and have brought both to about the same point with the Tulips just a half stage ahead.

 I needed fabric for both for the sashings and borders and really, nothing in my collection suited.  So off to Mad About Patchwork I went and spent a happy hour chatting with Katy. She showed me on her phone her latest beautifully pieced quilt and I was so glad I recognized it as a Jen Kingwell pattern (the old brain is still working!).

Turns out Katy is a tester for quilt patterns and does this for Jen as well as other people.  The new pattern from what I could see of it as a 4 inch size looks beautiful. When we finally finished chatting about what it is like to be a quilt tester, we got down to the task of looking at fabric.

For the tulips borders, Allie had chosen a striped black and white but I thought I would exercise my love of dots and picked a black and white dotted fabric from Riley Blake.


While at it, I decided to buy the black dots on cream and the more neutral, gray dots on white. I'm sure they will be useful for another project down the line.

I was most pleased with this and the dots meant I did not have to deal with evening up straight lines like the stripes would involve.  Remember I have a crooked eye or something!

It was fun to remove the papers and give these blocks their sashings.  I intend to applique the cornerstones later.



Can I blame the gloomy indoor photos on the gloomy outdoor weather!



Getting a fabric that would compliment my Tuesday's Flowers was a much harder job.  I have so many colours and flowery prints included. I'd brought Block 1 with me and we walked all over the store searching and finally settled on the one Katy had picked in the beginning.  It's Pondcherry from French General, a print that is sort of medium in scale.

                                                  Image result for pondicherry fabric
I think it will work well as sashing...what do you think?  I like it so much so I'm really hoping it works.  Meanwhile here are a few more blocks.

Block 18




Block 6




And Block 11





While still on the topic of fabric, I am gradually building my reds...I hope some day to complete a red and white quilt.  I'd thought it would be a Dear Jane but after following several people's Dear Jane journeys which I loved doing,  it does seem a little daunting to me.  So I don't know anymore.  Any suggestions?  Presently I am loving applique. But while I was working on the Farmer's Wife Sampler, I was loving the EPP.



The colours are off in all these photos as I mentioned because of the rain.  It has been raining varying from light to heavy for the last three days...no break. Seriously feeling fed up with the continual downpours; it's so cloudy and gloomy.
The farmers are getting worried as the ground right now is just a sodden mess with many fields bearing a couple of inches of water covering them.  And rain in the forecast well into this coming week.
Hope it is dry and sunny and bright where ever you are!

I will be happily joining the groups at the Needle and Thread Network,  Free Motion By The RiverKathy's Quilts , Quilting is More Fun Than Housework and Patchwork Times celebrating Slow Stitching Sundays, the joys of scrap quilting and the pleasure of having something on the design wall.

Friday, 5 May 2017

"Old Age Ain't No Place for Sissies" Bette Davis

A post I just revisited and realized happily the signs are not particularly any worse today than several years back when I wrote it.  


The signs are there and they are gathering.

It's not that my face is growing more wrinkles, it is more that the texture itself is changing.  In certain lights, my face, neck and the backs of my hands show all the cross-hatching that skin achieves if it lasts long enough.  All the topical applications in the world won't change this particular aspect of human bodily frailty.  Errant hairs, certain body murmurings, an unsteadiness at times...all tiny reminders cropping up it seems right out of the blue.

 When did they start to make the print in telephone books and on menus so small?  When did I acquire such trepidation climbing on the top step of the 3-step stool?  When did driving at night seem to be more of a challenge?  Car headlights have definitely gotten brighter and more glary.

I remember my grandfather coming home from the hospital and asking seriously, since when are they allowing teenagers to be doctors.  I laughed at the time, but now I get it.  Suddenly it seems like kids are everywhere managing things, running the world, and of course, not doing it very well. 

Dylan Thomas wrote about how old age should burn and rave at close of day.  But no, I'm not burning or raving feeling overwhelmingly lucky to be getting there (!) as I do. I'm not even particularly vain, but I am attempting the usual countermeasures, hopeful that something will prove a neutralizer to time, I guess.

  Slathering on the retinol creams and standing on one leg when I brush my teeth to improve my balance, staying off step stools, limiting night driving, using a magnifying glass to read pill bottles...and oh yes, one more biggie, never ever looking at my face in the car mirror in bright sunlight; that is a real downer.

I watched All About Eve on Netflix the other night and was interested to see how Bette Davis' performance stood up; she really was good and I remembered her famous saying about aging.  I think she got that right too.

Thursday, 4 May 2017

Happy Distractions This Week

I liked this article. Man knits his way around the world.  I wonder what would you think.

Actually I'm not sure I like this, but I was fascinated with the idea. The ultimate in a headboard, a cross stitched one. Find the details at Re-scape .com.

Image may contain: indoor


Like so many of you with the lovely likes, books are often a part of them. I've been neglecting to share what I am reading. Here is the latest one...All For Nothing by Walter Kempowski, a novel about a wealthy family living in East Prussia in 1944.  It is what I think of as literary and I've never read anything about this part of the world before.  So far, interesting to me.


My niece posted this article on Facebook and I enjoyed checking it out. I made note of several I haven't read that looked interesting.

Unputdownable: 17 Books

I came across Janet Clare several years ago on one of my hunts around the net for bird stuff.  She is a British artist and I admired this particular pattern of hers called Small Brown British Birds. I liked the combination of embroidery with patchwork and applique. I also liked the way she had included a tiny description of each bird in their block...like here, the bullfinches "are quiet" while the sparrows "are very noisy". Here is a link to Janet's blog and to her shop.


Image result for janet clare small brown british birds

I love this piece below of applique combined with embroidery I found on Pinterest. It brings to mind two happy memories for me.  One, it reminds me of the Arctic cotton that grew around the community I lived in on Baffin Island when I was a young teacher and mother.

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Arctic cotton photo captured from the net.

                                                 Image result for arctic cotton

And two, it reminded me of the jelly fish I saw in a large aquarium tank at the Toronto Ripley's Aquarium of Canada which I visited with older grandson two years ago.


I know it doesn't really look like either of those things, but it is interesting how certain sights can
pull up a memory of things past. Happy memories in this case.

I looked and looked but could not find the source to credit the artist who made this wonderful piece; I'd love to see all of it. If you come across any info, please let me know.

And here we are behaving like tourists riding around on a double decker tour bus.  Gotta like that!


I don't get to travel often but love it when I do.
Join me in visiting It's A Small Town Life and Not Afraid of Color to read about some other wonderful happy things.


Monday, 1 May 2017

Shows To Stitch To

I enjoy a cup of tea usually once a day and often while I sit back at night to watch a bit of t.v. Lately that has also been my knitting time.  I have another scarf finished so two more to stitch to the orginal two, so my blanket-to-be is coming along.

I like a loose tea called Peppermint Amour from David's Tea; it is supposed to be helpful for good digestion. Don't know about that but I do like peppermint, so...


I love having an excuse to use my rubber ducky tea strainer daughter gave me a couple of years ago.


We don't have cable and rely on Netflix and Acorn for our viewing.
Here are five of the shows we are watching presently. We rotate them around and don't marathon anything though I would be inclined to do that sometimes.

Scott and Bailey has been on my list before. I love how we get to know the personal lives as well as the professional stuff about these two detectives. We were so happy when another season was added.

                                                 Image result for scott and bailey

Outlander took me a few shows to get 'into' it. As a nurse in modern day, Claire becomes a healer when transported back in time and has to use natural cures. That is an aspect of the show I find interesting. Also I'm learning a lot more about Scottish history especially as it relates to the British.

                         

Thirteen is a British miniseries detailing what happens when a girl who was held captive for thirteen years suddenly comes home.


                                     Image result for thirteen premise


Life in Pieces is an American family comedy series...lots of familiar faces and we are enjoying the humour.


                                    Image result for life in pieces


Line of Duty is a British police procedural show that we just love.  We will be sad when this round of episodes are done.  I think this show is one of our all time favourites.

                                  Image result for line of duty

Are you watching any of these?

I'm glued to my bird cams still and the Barred Owlets are growing so fast. They are well behaved and much nicer to each other than the eaglets were.  The mother is also much more attentive especially with preening of the owlets than the eagle mother. I don't think I ever saw the eagle mom really touch the little ones.



If you are watching something you like, let me know.  I'm always looking for new shows, videos, etc.