Sunday, 25 February 2018

Silly Accident and Scrap Management

Pride goeth before a fall, my dad would quote.
I haven't mentioned it but I practice tiny balance exercises all the time...the usual, standing on one foot at the kitchen sink and while I'm brushing my teeth or on the phone.  Yesterday I got one high boot on without leaning on anything even though I was feeling a little tipsy (literally and it has nothing to do with alcohol, believe me, just some days seem wobblier than others).

At that moment I actually had the prideful thought, my balance seems to be pretty good.  Then while still standing and trying to put on the other boot, completely lost said pretty good! balance and pitched forward, managed to save myself from a fall by grabbing the workbench but somehow bent all my toes on my right foot under with all my weight on them.

 I don't even know how I did that!  Doesn't it sound completely impossible to do!  But I'm here to tell it is not.
Please try never to do it because it hurt like crazy for the first while and then thankfully the pain petered out.
 Last night it woke me at times if I put that foot a certain way.  I expected to see bruising this morning, but there isn't any and actually my toes are not swollen and feel pretty good. Don't think I'm going to lose them, lol, and thank goodness.  Toes must be resiliant digits but I won't be showing off like that again, I can tell you.

Have you ever had such a silly accident???

Spring in the air (sort of) has made me think of tidying and cleaning out.  It has motivated me to  delve into the plastic totes to do a little more scrap management.

For some reason I just love viewing how people manage their scraps.  It's like the very satisfying clean up results of those tv hoarding shows.
Looking at all the totes and bins and baskets with the precise trimming to certain sizes and in those neat little piles inspires me to try the same.


You wouldn't think I've done enough quilting to have accumulated this much scrap material.  Testimony to the endurance/cleverness of tupperware-those two pieces on the top neatly fit into each other as well as one can act as a cover for the other but they must be about 50 years old...from the old house.


Murphy finds scrap management such a bore.


But look what I unearthed...a set of 28 blocks I pieced last summer when I was getting to know my new machine better. I think I had the idea of bordering these in white to make all the colours look brighter.  Or some such thing. The black in the centers came from an old shirt, I remember, and is such strong but soft material.



But seriously, on the issue of scrap usage, here are two posts from fellow bloggers I enjoyed reading very much. Clever people using their scraps in clever ways.

Marie's post at Quilt Bee and Nancy's at Joy For Grace

I'm not the only one who can't seem to just toss those old bits.

While today I am indoors looking out at freezing rain and doing my level best to stay upright, hope you are too wherever you are. (The upright part not the looking out at freezing rain bit.)

I'm glad to be joining the parties at Just Julie Lou'sEm's ScrapbagCooking Up Quilts, Free Motion By The River and Quilting is More Fun Than Housework.






Thursday, 22 February 2018

Do We Really Need Them?!

Last week was such a good week except for that one thing.

This kind of floored me.  Chloe Gordano's sleeping fawn.
You can check out more of Chloe's amazing embroideries here.

                    

Treasured the moments I watched these with Older Grandson and happy we can share such humour now that he is older.

Season 9 of The Office (US), the one where Jim goes to Philly to start a new company and we get to experience a "Dwight Christmas".




And going to a movie with him...the amazing Black Panther...what a wonderful movie; I loved every minute.  And I like how Marvel movies have no bad language or blood and gore in them.The costuming and fabrics were so beautiful.

Image result for costuming in black panther

I read the last of this book by one of my favourite authors, Sebastian Barry.  I loved the language-his turn of phrase is wonderful.

                                           Related image


I told you I had discovered the Futility Closet where I now find an abundance of interesting "stuff" to ogle/read/think about. Thankful to blogging friends who continue to open up the world for me.

I enjoy trivia like this which I found there- the movie High Noon was filmed in real time, a notion called Stopwatch Cinema.  Clocks were displayed in many scenes showing the actual time building up to the noon hour...a subliminal feature for the times; those directors were cleverer than I would have credited.
                    The Futility Closet

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:High_Noon1.JPG

Worked on my February "page" for the Crazy Quilt Journal Project.  Sorry, my "Crop" feature seems to be kaput this morning. So a close up further in the week.


Hubby ate all his Beatty's Chocolate Cake I made him as a treat for when I was away.  I got to sample it before I left.


The night I came home we got to eat out at a favourite restaurant in the nearest town...marking a belated Valentine's. The homemade pita chips with brie and apples and figs were really good.  They make a great Seafood Mac and Cheese too.  Too full to have dessert was my only complaint!


                                          Image result for chesswoods carleton place

Trigger Alert

I do feel the need to comment so skip this if it is not what you would want to read about.

I'm referring to the recent massacre which is on everyone's minds and took up a lot of my thoughts last week.
The whole world and me worried and echoed the same questions over and over.
(Why do manufacturers even make semi-assault rifles!  Does the world need such a device!)
I wanted to go in my sewing room and hide; hubby made an extra donation to Medecins Sans Frontieres/Doctors Without Borders as a small way to mark it.
Grandson speculated as to where he would hide if such a thing happened at his school-would his metal locker be a good place he wondered.  I felt so sad hearing that.

I have no other words about this.  We all carry on as we must.


As always, loving to link up with Not Afraid of Color this week.
Also happy to join the party at Quilt Fabrication,




Sunday, 18 February 2018

Diamonds and I Were Never Friends

In my last post I hinted at a possible whole different life for myself.  Yes, I'm living a life I never thought would happen for me.  When I had the carpenter put in the basement apartment at daughter's, I enjoyed every minute of the designing and material choosing.  I thought it would be my home for a long time.  With my teacher's pension and living with daughter, my modest needs, etc. etc., I figured it would be all good.  Diamonds and I were never friends and as long as I had a garden to dig in and money enough for thread and fabrics and to fill the bird feeder, I would be fine.

 I had a strong vision of myself as a single senior. But about that time I figured I would need to have some acquaintances so I joined a couple of organizations, completed a 10 week Palliative Care course for volunteer work and signed up with an online senior friend group.

And met Hubby who'd been widowed almost ten years by then; simply put he's turned out to be just about the best friend I could ever have met.  Kind and gentle and doesn't care how much money I spend on my stitching or bird feed.  I had to smile yesterday- when we first got together he used to send me links to jewelry sales; yesterday he forwarded one about squirrel resistent bird feeders for me to check out.

So back home on Friday where I belong with my fellow geeky mate who was very happy to see me and the furry fellows were so happy as well.  I think Murphy had forgotten I'd returned because when I went to let her in this morning after hubby had put her out, she gave me her wild happy greeting all over again. Gotta love dogs for the enthusiasm they show when they see you.

Stitching News
I am  happy I got this block of the Potted Flowers BOM almost finished and I so wish the camera could show the true colours of this one.  I tried my hand at fussy cutting the leaves and think I like them.
Today I want to complete the knots in the centers of the Block 1 flowers.


 Someone asked about my Snowball blocks.

I know many of you are adept at handling long rows of blocks, but I've found sewing blocks into a large square works best for me.  I've got the first block of 16 together with little effort. Just umpteen more of these and I will have a quilt!


Sunday and definitely a slow stitching day for me and for others over at Kathy's Quilts. What's up with you?
Happy to link up with Sugarlane DesignsBusy Hands Quilts, Small Quilts and Doll Quilts and What a Hoot Quilts.



Thursday, 15 February 2018

Thursday Somewhere Else

Here I am at older daughter's house for the week.  She is gone down south for a well deserved holiday; I think I told you she works with dementia patients and is about 15 years in at her current location.  It is challenging and yet very rewarding work.  I am staying with older grandson and looking after things for her.  Any time I get to be with the grandsons is special time for me; I am all too aware how fleeting these days are.

I love her house which is smallish... about 1700 square feet on the main level. I had an apartment put in the basement where I had intended to live - I even had a special room added for a sewing room. But then I met Hubby so it is just her and grandson living here. 
Though small, the house has some really neat features like three bow windows which add a lot to the kitchen, living room and master bedroom. There is a beautiful garden on three sides and farm fields in the back. 


A kitchen nook- marvelous light for stitching and to keep an eye on the bird feeders


Her cosy little den with comfy chairs, a Vermont castings stove and lots of books

 She loves to decorate and has lots of nifty things strewn about.

Sweet hand painted tiles for the stove back splash

Coming from the big wooden house, I feel like I'm in a bit of a doll house. And it is so manageable for cleaning too.
 I love looking at houses and architecture in general and follow a couple of  Pinterest boards featuring house plans and such.  Do any of you share my love of this stuff?

I have a couple of projects with me.  This is my idea for my February CQJP, a heart-big surprise...note the fancy template I cut myself.  I used scraps to put together this heart and now the fun begins to embroider it. My goal for this week is to finish this one.


So where does this Thursday, post Valentines, find you? What are you feeling?

Thursday likes abound at LeeAnna's Not Afraid of Color ; I'm always impressed with the array of things people are posting for the Thursday link up.
Also linking with the wonderful Esther's Quilt Blog-have you seen the beautiful quilt along project Esher is designing and sharing for free?

Sunday, 11 February 2018

No Reply Bloggers and Oh SoTalented Bloggers

I'm the no reply blogger in that title. But I have tried hard not to be.  Last week I wrote a question on the Blogger Help Forum (second time) requesting help with this issue.  Within minutes I had a reply and two links to read that explain it is basically my Google Plus status that doesn't allow some replies.  It is what it is, apparently.

But on to the talented boggers!

Allie Oops at Allie Oops Sweet Happy Life is the only one in my life who calls me Hon and I love it.  Allie has designed a sweet stitch-along called Garden of Contentment.  She has chosen such a pretty  spring-like "easy on the eyes" palette for it, I was instantly drawn. I've downloaded my patterns and am waiting to replace my printer toner to print them.  Btw, if you ever wanted to try your hand at applique, these patterns would be excellent to begin with.

                         Garden of Contentment

Yvonne at Stitch and Travel has published a book about where her interest in quilting has taken her around the globe.  She has made real friends of stitching folks wherever she has traveled and has even organized stitching travel jaunts herself. What a great achievement this book is for her!

                          

Kathleen Tracey at A Sentimental Quilter has her latest book, A Prairie Journey, coming out in July.  It will celebrate the pioneering spirit in a number of small projects. I wish I could show you the cover; it would make you see why I was taken by it.

Back to my reality...I start out the day with a somewhat neat and tidy workplace; but by day's end it looks like this.  It's like at some point I have to have everything pulled out and piled around me. Thank goodness I can close the door on this when I need to, unlike in my dining room for a sewing room days.  I bet those Oh So Talented Bloggers don't do this! ( I hope I don't set off someone's OCD for neatness by showing this...which I've been known to do!  Anyone remember my Header photo of messy thread spools that someone asked I take down because it was driving her nuts!)


Anyway, I had fun making the thin stems for my Block 2 on Angie's Potted Flowers BOM using this little doohickey. I first read about the Bias Tape tool at the  Every Stitch blog; Ann is another talented Australian quilter turning out the most beautiful appliqued quilts and shares her methods and tools too which is very helpful.

After I got the hang of it, I enjoyed using it and will get the next largest size too.  Turns out a very nice stem with very little effort. And I remembered to cut the fabric on the diagonal!


A quick little video showing how it works. Nothing to it really.



Stitching down these stems and finishing the flower heads will take up stitching time today.  I am happy with the colours I've chosen for this block which makes it 2 for 2.

Hubby is feeling much better-cough almost gone and he is getting his energy back. Meanwhile, I seem to have the sniffles-drats!!

It wouldn't be a Sunday if I didn't link up with Kathy's Quilts and the other folks also sharing slow stitching projects. Also gratefully linking with Busy Hands QuiltsCrazy Mom Quilts, Cooking Up Quilts, The Needle and Thread Network and Quilting is More Fun Than Housework.


Thursday, 8 February 2018

5 Ways to Combat February

Before I forget, the link to Ina Gartner's fabulous Beatty's Chocolate Cake is over on the right in the featured post. If you are a chocolate cake lover or have someone in the family who is, it is a terrific recipe...easy and delicious too.

Last weekend had me wearing my ice cleats on my boots and also doing some shovelling. The usual February mix of weather.  I decided to put out peanuts in the shell to lure the squirrels away from the bird feeders.  One small red squirrel found them first and had a field day.  Keeping myself amused with watching the wildlife and birds is definitely one way to keep February interesting. But if that doesn't turn your crank, maybe one of these ideas will.

 Hibernation is a great time to watch some great shows. 


We are currently watching these...

A Place To Call Home


                                      Image result for a place of her own  australian series on acorn


Rosehaven

Image result for rosehaven tasmania



The Detectorists

Gentle and amusing...I love the inadvertent role the magpie is playing in Season 3.

Image result for the detectorists



Or catch these guys, the Grocery Girls, on Youtube. This one features the two sisters live for episode 52. I warn you there is a little melt down about menopause that caused Jodi to get a bit of flack from a viewer.
I love their enthusiasm and usually something gets said that makes me laugh out loud.

                             


Dress warmly but cute.  

The warm part is easy for me.  It's the cute part that is hard for me; I'm not sure what is cute/appropriate/ nice etc. anymore. Do I have to consider my age in this as well??? Perhaps this is why I shop for clothes less and less and catch online sales at my safe places...LL Bean, Coldwater Creek and the like.
But I'm sure there are many of you out there who are nailing this one. Me not so much.

At least I know my socks fit the bill.

Ogle beautiful patterns and Dream about stitching them. (Cost: Zilch) 

Sigh, such an easy one for stitchers. There are always beautiful patterns. But look at this one younger daughter gave me for Christmas... Wow.  What an excuse to start fabric looking/shopping.
Yes, THE Caswell Quilt as designed by the talented Corliss Searcey. Each block can stand on its own as a little picture. Now this is a project to take me into my 70's.


Keep busy...keep the fingers stitching or whatever

For me this one is a given.
I finished my January page for the Crazy Quilt Journal Project.

My block got shown at the site- Crazy Quilt Journal Project on Wednesday and there are some beauties to behold there.  I'm not crazy(lol) about the over the top embellishments on some blocks tho' I do admire them. I am happy that I can still lay a half decent satin stitch but I was a little disappointed that my block turned out so conventional in the end.  Perhpas since this project will last all year, I will get more creative and inventive as I move along.



I also finished the second part of the Kathleen Tracy Friendship Garden Mystery stitch along.  It involved putting strips around the center block. I could do that. ('Scuse the wrinkles.)


Continuous Small Treats

Iris Murdoch put it so nicely... I love the "continuous small treats" idea.
I learned to appreciate little things first way back when I began my teaching career in an isolated village.  The irregular but so anticipated mail would bring me so much pleasure... for instance I remember how happy I was to get a box of Earl Grey tea bags a friend sent me.
 ( Oh, I'm such an old fogey!)

Image result for iris murdoch quote one of the secrets of a happy life



I have lost count-hope I've given you 5! To combat February I employ all these and so much more!

And it is always a perk to read how others are making their way through February combatting either heat or cold, finding things to love, or projects to stitch.  Check out how folks are doing that at Not Afraid of Color, Confessions of a Fabric AddictJust  Julie LouSuper Mom No Cape and Em's Scrap Bag.   .

Sunday, 4 February 2018

February Fun (Remembered)


Friends in the northern hemisphere....Did you go snow sliding as a kid?

 Growing up in Corner Brook, with its snowy, hilly terrain, I got to slide many days of the winter months.  I loved it.  I lived in the far left hand corner there on the outskirts. (Like Lincoln, I had a very long walk to school each day, lol.)

Image result for corner brook winter images

  I didn't have a sleigh like in the picture further below but a toboggan and I remember well the Christmas I got a new one, a five seater so I could always have a couple of friends on the back with me.
Image result for toboggan

 There were no  parents with us, just us kids on the hill at the end of our road and we had to negotiate our own issues with each other.  A couple of the boys were speed demons and we seemed to know to step aside; if there were bumps we just got over it and carried on. Occasionally some kid would be crying about something and go home but before you knew it, they would be back again.

The only time a grown up was heard from was when one called us home for a meal.

Some of the kids did not have a sleigh or toboggan but used a piece of plastic or linoleum (on its shiny side) and preferred it as it made them very swift.  There would be bragging about who's piece could go faster.


Image result for vintage february image
I love the colour palette of this illustration. Do you?
                                            
What a different world it is now!

On Facebook people are starting a countdown to spring.  I understand the longing but try not to do that as we really can't wish our time away. It will get there before we know it.

And proof of that is this: I was thrilled to see first buds on these Kolanchoe plants.  I have nursed these (I now have three pots of them) from a tiny sprig given to me two years ago.  I followed the simple advice for wintering them indoors and it seems to have been successful. Mine are orange and I'm curious if the little plants I've gotten will also have orange blooms.


And speaking of flowers....Here are flower heads being put into place on my first pot of flowers.


 As always, I have an abundance of slow stitching needing my attention.

Hope that this sort of thing is all that requires your attention today too- nothing more pressing while like me, you reminisce about a happy childhood memory.

Happy too to link up with other slow stitchers at Kathy's Quilts. And also linking with Cooking Up QuiltsBambi's Show and Tell MondayGone Stitchin'Katie Mae Quilts and What a Hoot Quilts.  It's a whole stiching world out there!




Thursday, 1 February 2018

Together on a Thursday


Thursday with its nearness to Friday made it a great day in my working world.  I liked to do a house tidy up that evening so I could come home on Friday and have no pressing household chores to spoil the enjoyment of a weekend at hand.  Did you do that too? Do you do that?

And Welcome February!
Here is A Patchwork Year's February block ready to be sashed.  It has Forget Me Not on it and the hand is really not that wrinkled.



I like this illustration by Brett Ryder, a very talented UK artist. I learned his name a few years ago reading O magazine.
This one caught my eye because of the yellow house in the bottom left...so much like the saltbox houses at home.  I love illustration type paintings...the eye has so much to take in.



o magazine unstuck quiz

Someone knows their quilting...linking meandering and stippling in this one is clever.




New to Me

The act of Mark Making.
  I read this post by Linda at Notes From Studio B.  Linda is marking 71 days till her 71st birthday with a small artistic drawing in black and white each day.  I was intrigued with this idea and went searching on the web.  I know many of you keep journals and try to write/ stitch/ make something most days to mark the time in one way or another.
Turns out there are many sites featuring ways to make your mark. This was on Craftsy.
Mark making ideas
Self expression is so important and I wish it could be better preserved in school systems.

I've finished with the quilting of the Scandinavian Christmas and while I'm deciding on the binding material, I'm working on the Flowers in Pots BOM.  I've just finished appliquing the stems and this is such an awkward looking stage.  It will look so much better when the flower heads are sewn on.



Meanwhile, I am always struck by the generosity of stitchers. Here is another story of folks doing their part to support those going through a crisis.
Edith shares This post about ladies stitching Heart cushions for patients with breast cancer.  I think it would feel good to be on the receiving end.
As always getting together with the folks at Not Afraid of Color.
Also linking this post with Busy Hands Quilts.