Monday, October 29, 2007

Another PC Set Finished!

Well these took longer than I anticipated but then "life" happens in amongst my postcard makin! These are a couple of samples of the "Breast Cancer Awareness" postcards for the FAPC group I've made from left over fabric pieces of Shauna's cuddle quilt (which in fact I've still not finished - two borders and the binding to go yet - Sorry Kiddo - I promise I will get back to it)! Some I've beaded resembling a broach I saw on the Pink Ribbon website some time ago and then some I embellished with variegated metallice embroidery. I LOVE them - hope they do too.

And these stinkers needed more postage as I tried something different and naturally it was a might thicker so the beads got hung up in the slot!!! I wanted to see some definition in the quilted to the nonquilted ribbons so added some thin batting but guess not thin enough! Oh well that's why I LOVE going to the PO and have my girls check them individually before mailing.

Now onto the Spiders and Victorian postcards of the PC Cottage group. Hopefully these last two sets won't take as long as these pink ones did! Hey did I tell you that I do not like PINK!!! I swear this colour is starting to weave it's way into my life - but probably never to the clothing side.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Byran's Halloween Party

Pat did an awesome put together job with the cake and the scary feast!!! Yep those are bloody Witche's finger sugar cookies and even had pumpkin muffins too, not just candies.

WOW it's been ages since I've been around the young ones and the noise level that can be attained. Now Pat did say I didn't have to stay but heck it was kinda neat to see what 12 yr olds thought "party-wise" - LOL!

Anyways, Byran did wear his snake costume even if it somehow got twisted up before Pat stitched it together so it was kinda askewed!!! Some of the classmates came dressed some just a little but hopefully all had fun!

The Halloween fogger was the hit attraction and the screeching Pirate basically competing with the screeching to match the turned up music. Randy had moved out the vehicles from the newly errected garage and decorated along with a camp heater, it was a great room for a party.

Remember the Hot Potato game, well they played the Hot Witches' Broom version and they had fun along with the Blindfold find the plastic body parts and/or worms in the cooked and greased spaghetti - YUCK!!! The best one was the girls against the boys carting the tricorn candies on tablespoons across the garage to the bowls - girls beat the boys twice!!!

But it sure is nice to be home in the quiet once again - chuckling! And I got some Halloween cake and jelly beans to take home with me.

Busy Saturday

Well I'm taking turns working on cutting out my folded needlecases in preparation for a vendor sale at the guild Nov. 10th and also on my FAPC Breast Cancer Awareness postcards which hopefully will be in the mail on Monday. It's so nice and sunny but crisp out, so had to close my windows, but it's nice to work in the daylight at the kitchen table instead of under lights in the evening!!! Just took a break to see what with the emails but guess everyone is busy outside with fall cleanup if it's as lovely out for you as it looks here in Winnipeg MB for us.

Okay, back to work!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Phew - It's good to be home!

Phew, now I'm home after another evening of helping Pat with the cake and costume for tomorrow's party. That's tiring after a busy day in the office!!!

When I arrived there, they had just left (like 10 minutes) and I wondered why Belle was not howling at the door. Well I found out lickety split after putting her out on the leash! Yep, she was ticked that they went out in the evening and just showed them that's a no no by reaching till she grabbed the smallest cake, ripping the plastic to shreds AND eating all the chocolate chip chocolate cake that was to be the SPIDER, with barely a crumb left for evidence. Just lucky the other big cake was too far back and she couldn't snag it OR I arrived before she could!!! No I didn't punish her, and she knew she was bad, I just left her outside which she hates when you're inside - very spoiled dog!!! So now tomorrow Pat has to bake another cake and at least the decorating looks easy enough for her to handle it herself.

So when she got back home, we tackled the base cake with purple and orange icing and I freehanded a web on top and she'll attach ALL SORTS candy around for smaller spiders and hopefully the larger spider tomorrow. It's in the fridge and we've warned Amanda not to throw anything into the fridge when she comes home late too!!!

Then we tackled that snake costume and I must say it's turned out pretty good. I was too tired to finish it all but it's just to tack the straps to hold the coils in place around and to hang over Byran's shoulders, so Pat said she'll finish it tomorrow. I told her if it's too much to call me - will see. So here's a picture Byran took of me sewing the fangs onto the head and also one I took after he'd gone to bed and I had finished attaching the head to the coiled body. I think it looks pretty good.

Ohhh and I got seranaded again tonight when Byran practiced his piano for me, which he thought he'd get away with - Ha Ha Ha!!!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

More CQd Blocks

And just to show you that Adeline's block was not the first one, here is a personal swap with "Dragonfly" and my plan and her finished block. Notice in top left the change of "plan"???

But this next baby was part of a group CQ'd round robin on a block that I prepared and sent off - a different approach.

Gotta retake this picture some day!!!

And then there's this last sample with no plan as I winged it's embellishments for a 5" ticket pocket for our 2004 Manitoba Quilt Retreat (I made up I think 45 of these for retreaters but left the embellishments for them to do - just provided some buttons/charms).

CQ blocks?

"When you ladies embellish your blocks, do you have a pattern to go by, or do you just wing it and say this would look good here and that there, what????????" This is one of many questions from a newbie CQer in one of my groups - she is not only picking up tidbits etc but also "making" use revisit our whys and hows. Thank you! Well, I have some input to this latest query!

I've tried many a time to "just wing it" as one says, but heck that is totally foreign and a long painful experience for me at least. I do that only with smaller pieces, but I still do a scim through books for ideas - the seam finishes are pick and choose mostly and I see repetitive of the ones I like doing - gotta change that soon. Maybe it will come to me with more experience, I don't know.

So what I've found to work for me is to make a copy of the exact size of block (basically the 8" size and larger), have the stitched block beside me too and flip through my books and even some Blogs for ideas and make a note on the paper block of various items I like and where to find them for future reference. Then I do a write up alongside or on another page of each pieced number, the design and where I reference it, the colours of SR and floss and various embellishments. I continue till all pieces are accounted for and then I cover the drawing with plastic just to keep my hands clean from charcoal and ink and start to embellish.

Here is a picture of the "plan" I made up for Adeline's CQd block, it's not exact but close. Now I'm not saying I don't change things as I go, but at least I have a "plan" and things go a lot faster and smoother for me this way.

I find it not so scary to start the embellishing when I have a paper plan or blueprint like the builders to follow. And Ohhhh the joy when it is perused over and over by friends (quilting and none) and each time they see something they missed the first go over! Yep, very rewarding along with finding the stitching very relaxing (if not under a deadline that is).

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Now for my HIGHS!!!

All I can say is usually things don't fall into place for me like this so at lunch time I went out and bought a lottery ticket - hey you can't win without one!!!

Well workwise, all I can say is I made lots of headway finally and was pleased to have my very late Yearbook on it's final stage and hopefully next week on it's way to the printer - PHEW!!! And today I started another major project and it's progressing well too. So YES a good day workwise!!!

Then I met Pat (my niece) and went over there to assist her with Byran's Halloween Party preparations and enjoy a lovely supper with them too. Yummie, thank you very very much - BBQ chicken breasts, oven roasted potatoes and corn!!! Well we started a scratch cake that on Friday we'll decorate as a purple and orange base and a big sprinkle covered spider with All Sorts candy spiders around the base - looks easy and appropriate. So they are now in the freezer.

We then attempted the "snake" costume (now I had major reservations on this one) and all I can say is she's got guts as I'd have just gone and bought him one!!! She'd picked up a dryer hose (stretches out 10 feet) and we cut up her old brown trench coat (I said he should just go as Sherlock Holmes but no such luck) and sewed a tube to cover that hose and stapled the ends securely. Then I cut one sleeve and she stitched it to a point for the tail, stuffed it and pinned it in place to the end - looks good. Then I cut off the back overflap and she stitched it closed for the head with the red felt split tongue sticking out. We've yet to make two white fangs and stitch them on. Then Pat cut out a Sunlight soap bottle yellow eyes and glued on red dots for the centre eye and VOILA head's ready for stuffing on Friday. So our next step is to get the kid to stand still while we wrap and pin in place the coils and then position the head and tail appropriately. I figured out to make like straps from the belt etc at the top so it sits over his shoulders to keep it up and on and now she's sooooo excited as it's the first one she's pulled off so well. Yes, Auntie will have pics of it on Friday and also from the party Saturday evening and another BBQ me thinks!!!!

THEN I come home and my sister Sylvia calls and asks why I haven't checked my emails!!! SHEESH I wasn't home my dear! LOL! Anyways, it's been a few days that she's been without her PC as she hit the ALT key while in an email and POOF it went bye bye and she then could not read anything at all, frustrated she shut down. I tried to help but was lost without the screen viewing but gave her some suggestions along with leaving it for a day or two which her neighbour suggested also. That she did and today logged on again and had to wait patiently for the download of emails and VOILA all was okay again! GOSH I'm so glad as it's hard to get help out when you're not in a major centre etc. So she's a happy camper again and I'm totally relieved too as when I visit her we can play instead of fight to get her back up again.

THEN I read another email and my friend Dale Anne has lucked into some freebie threads and it's like Christmas or winning a lottery for her as she's an artsy quilter that goes through lots of thread! I'm so happy for her!!!

SHEESH I can't believe today! I'm still a whirling in my brain and my heart a racing - hope I don't crash tomorrow!!!

CQ Block is DONE!!!!

OH MY, OH MY, OH MY, I'm all a twither here today - what a busy night and so full of so many HIGHS for me!!! I'm so close to tears and don't know what to write on first!!!! Well first off here is Adeline's email upon receiving her CQd block today and I only mailed it yesterday at NOON!!!! Talk about service! And OHHHH I so wanted to be a fly on the wall when it arrived with camera in hand!

"OH my I just picked up my mail and what a surprise, I can't believe it.

It's wonderful, I have it pinned on the wall right here by my computer, my sister was just here and saw it, OOOHHH did she like it, Julie doesn't do any fancy work just plain quilting as she calls it.

Marg is coming over later and what a surprise I have to show her.

Now I REALLY have to finish this one I have.

SSSOOO many thanks, Adeline"

Okay, so here are the pictures of the block swap I participated in the CrazyQuilters-CA group - the block I stitched from fabrics Adeline provided along with a few of my plainer silks and embellished with trims provided along with ones from my stash.

Now I have to say that I'd been working on this baby since the end of August/beginning of September and I just finished it Oct. 21st. Needless to say that various friends, family and naturally co-workers have watched this block bloom and all had the same question "How the heck can you send this away - KEEP IT FOR YOURSELF!" Yep I chuckled, thanked them for the compliment and said well I can because I know I'll be getting a block back one of these days and hopefully I'll be as pleased (probably goofier more so) when I open it.

Okay you want to see the pictures, enough gabbing!!! Sorry that some of these are slightly blurry but I tried a few times! Here is the "nakkid" crazy patch pieced block.

Starting of embellishments with Q-snaps frame.

Halfway embellished - Oct. 4th

My spider siggie usually on all CQ blocks I make.

My first attempt at a stitched scene and I'm pleased. Oh and that pink peony (silk ciggie from Judy R) is trapunto stitched but hard also to photograph.

And here is another filler flower design along with my SRE butterfly.

I love making these Abalone shell angels too and see the mother of pearl birdie button top left corner!

And here's another free-hand stitched filler flower of goldenrod stems with a treasure find butterfly (sort of mother of pearl like finish).

This shows how I attached the antique like cotton lace and also more filler flowers.

And I gave up on trying to photograph the centre dark design - basically all SRE embellished on the fabric print. And the white fabric is supposed to be embroidered seaweed and one of my embroidery books shows repeating the same stitch but with beading - so I tried it out and kinda like it!

OKAY and here is the completed block - Oct. 21st - mailed out noon Oct. 23rd and Adeline received it early today - the 24th - WOW!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

My Hardanger Class

Ohhhhh I just love this stitching but I guess I'm just too tired after working to really appreciate the finesse of this unique embroidery. Oh well I'll just keep following instructions and just enjoy the beauty created and someday maybe the info will stick in my brain. Let's hope!

Anyways, this year I've decided to make Father Christmas and had picked up on my sale jaunts a ceramic head and it's perfect for this project! WOW! So I've decided on a soft brown or tan robe and so far completed the Klosters and Buttonhole stitches along the bottom and tonight I started working on the cable and Blackwork stitches (not sure I like this though - hope I catch on soon). We've a couple of weeks break as Carolyn (Mrs. Twitchett's Eye) is away to Toronto for a show/conference so I've lots of homework including starting on the deep wine cape with glitter gold decorative stitches to do before she returns. YIKES, hope I can deal with it! She did say I was creative so thought I could handle it - hope I can stand up and be counted on then.

I really really really want to have this project finished with the class instructions so I don't forget and then never have him for display (not like my other class projects in various stages of progress)!

I Went Shopping & Didn't Spend a Cent!

YAHOOIE!!!! I just love this kind of shopping, maybe not what I would have bought had I gone myself looking though, but definitely better TASTE than I have. Even Amanda mentioned something about Oh no Auntie looks groovie (or something to that effect)!!! LOL!

See I stopped in to Pat's as she mentioned she was cleaning out her closet again as she's lost quite a bit of weight and has kept if off now a year - WOW WEE! So in I traipse and she's a whole pile of nice dress pants waiting for me to try on - about half fit me nicely so I've a new wardrobe and just in time as a lot of my pants are also hanging on me and a few more are really worn and need to be tossed! Hmmmm even a pair of JEANS - gosh it's been YEARS since I was in jeans! ROFLOL! BUT near the bottom of the pile was this neato skirt in black but HECK where would I wear that???? Thank goodness Amanda said the style was not really for me - PHEW - didn't think I'd say thank you for that comment! Then Pat said that she wants to see me cleaning out my closet now to make room for the new stuff! LOL!

Now I think I'll have to take Pat shopping one of these weekends and let her get something as a thank you for replenishing my wardrobe. Guess all I have to do is maybe pick up a few new tops and I'll be set.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Finally - another set completed!

OKAY, finally an update with a picture!!! Sorry but I've truly been working my fingers to the quick with my swap 12.5" crazy patch block which I can't show you pics as yet as it's a "secret" swap and hopefully will be completed soon (I'm 3/4 of the way done). Also I'm trying to work on my postcard swaps which now are caught up - well for two days anyways - then the 15th's postcards will be running late again! Sorry ladies, but these are the last of my swaps (FAPC - Breast Cancer Awareness, PCC - Spiders and Victorian, and I think that's all) for a while and then "IF" I sign up for more it will be one at a time only.

SO, here is my PC Cottage 1930s postcard complete with a tiny black spider on the blue fabric. Hope it's too everyone's liking. Now off to mail them so I don't forgets on Monday!!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Beet Buns - Query Answered

Oh Oh how can you tell I've never made these - just eaten them!!!!! Okay let's see if I can unmuddle myself.

You take either prepared or frozen/thawed bread dough and pinch off little bun sized pieces. Take a washed/dried beet leaf and wrap it loosely around the small amount of dough and arrange in your baking dish. Set this aside and let rise - like when making bread (don't ask me how long as I've never made bread either - LOL!). I've been told like double the size???? Then bake until lightly browned.

Now we've (large family back then) always eaten them fresh right away with the cream sauce but because they are a fall item my sisters make various containers of them and then freeze them until they want a meal again. Then these are thawed, either used whole or cut into pieces (leave the beet leaves on - think cabbage rolls idea) and add to cream sauce and enjoy!

There does that explain the process better? I sure hope so!

Now they are a side dish for your main meal - a replacement for the potatoes dish and much more yummier. LOL! Course more calories too.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

I LOVE these Beet Buns!

Here is a recipe somewhat altered from what I remember my Mom used to make us (over ten years ago) and I pig out on whenever it surfaces at our family get togethers! LOL!

Personally, I’d use frozen bread dough now but then every fall we'd have this feast and it was all from scratch and these little buns were wrapped lightly with washed/dried beet leaves and let rise. Then baked till golden brown.

Sauce: (incorporated from various sources)

In a sauce pan fry diced onions and a bit of garlic in butter (or margarine) to golden brown and add pepper and some flour for thickening of the sauce later on (less lumpy this way). Reduce heat and add fresh dill (optional) and a container of 5%, 10%, or 35% cream and heat up but don’t burn.

Then pour the cream sauce into a pot and then use whole or cut the baked buns into pieces and keep adding them to the cream sauce until all coated, turn down the heat and simmer for a half hour or so till heated through thoroughly.

HMMMMM, wonder if my sister will make some this weekend??? Well Sunday Thanksgiving dinner was in the making and Florence asked her partner what he wanted with the turkey and dressing, whatever he says, she asked three times and same answer, so she turned to me and asked! WELLLLLLL, needless to say I got my beet buns instead of the cabbage rolls or perogies which were the other choices! He was not impressed - well speak up then!!! I even got to take the couple of servings of leftovers home with me along with some turkey and dressing!!!

WHAT A SWEETHEART - and it was her Birthday too!!!

I'm Busy!

Okay, I know I'm tardy here and was reminded today to please update my blog if I've time! Well I really don't have time after work, but will put a blurb here during lunch even though I brought some stitching to work on, so you don't think I've dropped off somewhere at least. I'm truly trying to get caught up with my commitments and also some gift UFOs! But I do have some news too!

Ohhhh I can tell you that the cooking and cleaning for Dad this weekend was torture on my shoulder that I could not cut through a brick of cheese yesterday – weakling!!!! John (coworker) had totally forgotten about bringing the cheese for the potluck so he ran to the Bay grocery and bought some and I tried to help him cut it up – he nicely took over so I arranged it on the plate with him. Also I had a HECK of a time driving this weekend (3.5 hours one way). First on Friday it was so windy I had to hang on with two hands and still had trouble staying in my lane (others did too but still passed and flew by) and then Monday it was windy along with pouring rain and standing water on the road in the tire lanes and whenever I neared that I zoom across the highway close to oncoming traffic or onto the gravel and I was only doing 80 kms and people were passing and swerving all over the place. CRAZY!!!!! So yes I was tense and also fighting the wheel there and back!

BUTTTTT, I had a lovely Thanksgiving weekend with my Dad (who loved my crazy patch block that I did work on periodically) and also Sunday dinner with my sister Florence and Wayne, nice and quiet. I even had leftovers to take home with me - YUMMIE!

Ohhhhh I could skip to malou today!!!! Last night I started my Father Christmas Hardanger class and OHHHHHHH I just love that stitching and sorry that I don’t keep some project going all the time. Heck I’ve not even ONE of the FIVE class projects completed as yet, but still sign up for another class each year. I really HAVE to clean up my place so I can have some kind of nice cupboard unit in my living room by my chair with various handwork projects on the go etc. ROFLOL!

This NEW baby is a “sort of recycled envelopes” light brown coloured robe with same coloured stitching and a wine cape with hood with glitter gold thread for the stitching and I think he will look awesome beside my cream coloured angel whenever I get to work on that baby!!! Who knows by that time they might come up with a nicer pattern that I’ll want instead. I know I’m not starting the Angel until I’m confident I can put together that project without messing it up. Oh yeah one of these days something will be finished so I can post pictures and the link to where the pattern can be obtained. Sorry!!!

Gosh and I still have the crazy patched block to finish off (which is getting compliments left right and centre and today I was told that I can't give it away - I have to keep it - Yeah RIGHT! it's a swap project, not mine at all). AND I've 4 sets of postcards also to finish off this weekend!!! Never mind Shuana’s comfort quilt yet too.