Wednesday, January 30, 2008

QU update

Told you it was bad getting old!!! I forgot to update you on my next quilting class!!!

Sorry no pictures as yet, but today I used some of the class images and prepared my wall hanging layout. Now I did not leave enough room for my hummingbird so I have to slice it apart and widen the overall image by two inches and then fit in the bird. I was going to reduce the bird when I realized it would then be out of proportion to the flowers - DUH!!! So if I can do this project half as good as the practice pieces I'll be very happy with this technique. It's different, but I sure love the fact you don't have to use the fusible stuff to achieve a nice overall effect and it should be mucho faster than the fininicky needle turn hand applique (even though I LOVE doing that technique).

So who knows maybe tomorrow I'll start some of the basic stitching but not sure how far I'll get as there are lots of small pieces which will be very very very challenging me thinks!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008


Now I know I'm in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Central Canada with these frigid windy temperatures lately!!!! But my car did start with the help of being plugged in and I let her warm up some before moving out! Yep it was bad enough I had to venture out to work today and my eyelashes froze to my scarf and eyebrows but I had to go out in the evening too.

I had to zip over before 5:00 and pick up Byran as Amanda was working after college classes and then realized I did not have their house key - left it with Amanda Sunday night - DUH!!! Gosh I'm sure batting ZERO with loosing my Dr. license and Debit card and not taking their key for today??? So I phoned Amanda and left a message that if Byran did not have a key I'd check with the neighbour otherwise will drive across the city to get her key and pray my car behaves!!! Luckily the neighbour had a key so we were home in five minutes and the dog zipped out lickety split to do her business and was back at the door before I could turn around just about!!!

Okay I'm now back home after Amanda called when she left work so I started my car to warm up and as she drove up I rushed out and moved my car and she parked - saving her from moving it again later.

Nope I went through all my bags again from the weekend and ZIPPO, no lost items to be found. Then I remembered I was taking pictures and rushed over to the camera bag (the only one I hadn't checked) and sure enough it was in the back pocket with the cables!!! PHEW thank goodness as I was dreading having to reapply for new ID etc. This getting old and loosing ones "memory" is the pits, never mind the aches and pains from a bit of exercise!!! LOL!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Saturday's Exercise!

Well all I can say is "It was a LOVELY day!" Just a tinge of cold to let you know you were in Winnipeg in winter, but definitely not the BLIZZARD like conditions that are blowing outside right now. Like night and day!

So here's Byran, my great nephew who's 10 and just LOVES Fort Whyte and thankfully too then I can really enjoy my visit there too through his antics! I just wish Auntie had more stamina to keep up with his energy!!!

Yes, he did convince me to go down with him on the longer toboggan but I can tell you once was enough. It was way to high for me and I quickly hid my face in the back of his hood but basically it was okay until near the bottom where there was a slight bump and that jarred my back. Once was enough for this old girl! He was tickled that I did go down!

The building in the background is their Educational Centre and we were in there a while checking various displays and animals out (snakes, bees, water fowl and fish some of the live ones). Then on our way back from walking the many paths we saw the deer coming out to the scattered feed. Yes, up we went onto the toboggan structure again (see how high up) so I can get pictures of the deer.

There were four and they kept looking towards us so not sure if it was the camera or just the scent of us.

Three leaving and one left behind and Byran got a kick out of it as it kept checking us out but still ate.

But guess he'd had enough and ran to catch up with his pals.

It was a half hour to closing and Byran still wanted to check out the bison enclosure and that was quite a hike still on the premises so off we went but at a clip as we had to get out before they locked the gates. He just enjoys checking out the bison (buffalo) but they are never close by thus the telescope setup.

It was 4:30 ish and the sun was just sinking and so lovely that I could not resist this last picture and I hope to get it printed off for myself and my niece too. And yes he naturally wanted to skip off yet further to the treehouse in the bush but I put my foot down and said enough. We really had to get back before dusk as I did not relish walking through the bush without street lamps!!! Yep, born in the country, but definitely a city slicker now! LOL!

And the finale was this huge hill on the compound still a ways from the exit but he could not resist ONE roll down! I really don't know where he got his energy from. I was wiped and when we got home about 5:30 ish all I wanted to do was crash.

I was thankful he was in a good mood and only wanted to play Dominoes so I learnt and that's what we whiled away most of the night until 10:30 when I finally said enough "Go to BED!" Shoot I wanted to myself but did not dare until he was out! LOL! Even the dog was pooped and did not get me up during the night!

But Sunday was also a lovely day and Byran and Belle went out for a long walk and I worked on some stitching and just relaxed.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

My Ornaments are Arriving!!!

WOW slowly but surely I'm hearing that my ornaments (see January 13th, 2008 post for pictures) that I sent out Jan. 15th are arriving (great for Australia) and what LOVELY compliments I'm receiving!!! I'm so glad that they are a hit, sometimes it's not so easy to plan items for swaps.

I LOVE making up the angel and embellish her differently depending on the mood I'm in. That is why I try not to make her specifically Christmas, as some would love to keep her out all year or off and on - on display. I've also been asked by someone if they can stitch her onto velvet and embellish the borders and frame her under glass! WOW - what a compliment! I don't know if it was done and that was a long time ago and have lost that info when I changed email providers.

The snowflake is new this year and I was to starch both projects but hate that process and avoid it whenever possible. That's why I buy the irridescent crochet cotton for the angel which is firm enough to stand on it's own and the ring will keep the snowflake in shape so I decided not to period. Now I did see why I should have starched it - the picot points would have stayed where they were intended to but in this case I was too late already and wanted them out - so hopefully I'll be excused this slip up!

I'll Make It - I Think!!!

WOW I barely made it to 11:30 and could not stitch at all or read my class notes - too tired so went to bed and woke at 8:00 am. EVEN the dog did not get me up at some ridiculous morning hour for a bathroom break - she too must be getting older and needs her beauty sleep. The last time I was here she got me up twice through the night and then like a half hour before I needed to get up so needless to say I was a wreck for work that day!!! She doesn't do that for them so it must be that she LOVES me!!!! Yeah right!

Oh well I'm showered, load of laundry had breakie, and even Byran was up early too and he went to bed late last night. Hope it'll be another good day for all of us. No more 3-hour treks though! LOL!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Will I make it?

Oh my Oh my Oh my, this old lady is not up to an active 10 yr old that is for sure!!! Well I can handle Dominoes even if I don't get the rules of the game before starting but piecemeal throughout - chuckling! But hey that was okay and sure passes the time quieter than the video games. And he has to read a book before school on Monday so we are interspersing that with fun.

Well we BOTH love Fort Whyte, a nature reserve just outside city limits and it has trails galore to check out with lots of wildlife of the friend nature and the bison penned to protect the curious too. So today we spend three hours there with Byran toboganning on the huge manmade slide (I've pictures to upload next week) and then we went and checked out the Touch Museum in the other Educational Centre before walking the grounds. We didn't see any deer except the the one hightailing into the busy earlier on. Well we were going in for some hot chocolate when I spotted two deer in the bush so there was the two of us beating up the stairs of the tobogan run as Byran wanted pictures of the deer. Well we were patient and out comes four deer to feed close by so I did get a few pictures - both of us were pleased. Then before we could leave Byran insisted on trekking to the bison enclosure (1/2 hour till closure) for the last request and we actually had to boot it to get back and out before 5:00 pm.

PHEW talk about a tired auntie. We came home and played dominoes again before supper. Needless to say I've no energy to even tackle reading my Quilt U class notes tonight nor any embroidery either. Maybe tomorrow. I know we're not going anywhere, just sticking around home and maybe he'll play with friends and I can stitch and zip over to the neighbours to check out what she's quilted lated and show her my embroidery. Okay I'm finished for the night!

Temporary Mom!

Yep, I'm back to being a "temporary" Mom for my niece once again. This time though Amanda the 22 yr old daughter has taken over the weekdays and I'm filling in the weekends so she can go play! LOL! AND I was supposed to be able to use Pat's laptop upstairs so I could chat with my Yahoo groups and my Quilt University class forum but after 18 minutes of reading and deleting emails, it locked me out and now I can't get an Internet connection so I just put it back where it belongs and am using the older regular PC downstairs. Including listening to Byran and his TV video games - SHEESH!!! I teased him that if he drove on the streets like he's driving on this simulated game that I'd ensure he had no license and I wouldn't be in the car with him. LOL!

Anyways, I printed out my designs and some of the basic instructions for my second online lesson from QU "Upside Down Applique" so next step is to go back upstairs to comfort and my coffee and read and deside my layout for my piece. Then to draw up my layout and audition some of the fabrics (not just cottons) for a pleasing wall hanging for myself. I LOVE hummingbirds so hope this turns out beautifully. Sorry no pictures yet unless you check out QU Gallery or the class info.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

This and That

Well my sister Florence came into the city on Sunday and we checked out Hangers and Winners for tops for me for work - ZIPPO! BUT I did find at Hangers some lovely gemlike butterfly earrings and ceramic like butterfly earrings. I totally dumbfounded my sister in buying such earrings and still more when I said I wouldn't wear them per se but wanted to break the posts off and use it for decorations on quilting blocks. She just shook her head!!! There was a set of dragonfly earrings but in PINK and I did not care for them so left them in the store. These were like $0.99 a set - WOW eh?

Then this week things were kinda quiet after work and I tried to practise my "upside down applique" from QU class but am chicken to try the free motion circles as mentioned. I've a few made up and hopefully will be postcards eventurally. Wonder what Saturday's class will be???

Then today I finally finished my passport application and got my girlfriend for guarantor and now my passport is ready for drop off tomorrow morning. Also when I got to Ang's place I could smell French onion soup and sat down for another helping of supper and OHHHHH it was sooooooo good and not salty at all and a glass of wine - relaxed me totally.

Then on the way home I stopped in at Staples and they had on sale an HP digital camera and 3-in-1 HP printer set (better than the one I was looking at for $59-79 on sale periodically but never in stock when I get to the store) for $119.95 and they had them in stock!!! Yep now I've a new camera and printer/scanner/ copier to my name - WOW! - just have to find time to hook all up and read instructions - next week maybe.

Okay enough now back to relaxing as I can feel my back acting up again.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

My 1st QU class!

Well I've finally taken the plunge and signed up for my first Quilt University class with Susan Brittingham - Upside Down Applique!!! My first class was today and so I read my class notes and started my practise piece. So far so good and now I've got to get my fabrics ready for next weeks project start up. So stay tuned for followup next week.

Basic pattern traced, fabrics chosen and fun began! Now you see the blue and green fabrics here but you won't see a finished piece cause I goofed!

You can't really see much here but it was basically straight stitched in place.

And here is the completed practise piece, which I'm going to make into a fabric postcard tomorrow. This technique I'll be using again for sure for postcards but have to experiment more to see if it will be possible for my two quilts. I HATE fusibles and this is one way around that technique.

I was BADDDD today!

Yes I was and after telling my girlfriend last night that I'll stop spending trying to gear down for retirement!!!

Well I started the day off feeling crappy and still chilled from last night's felt like -40C with windchill and this morning's -26C and feels like -31C when I ventured out. And it's 4:20 pm now and it's -22C and feels like -33C with windchill and the only saving grace to this is the SUN was shining so brightly that even sunglasses aren't that helpful. Anyways I's digressing again!!!

Well I did read over my Quilt University Lesson 1 class notes and got out some fabric for my practise piece but that's as far as I got. I then headed out to pick up a pair of "applique" scissors to ensure I had the proper "hardware" to do my project but could not find any so was ticked and shopped instead! SHEESH!!!

So I came out with two awesome pieces of fabric for my "Pass the Stash" project and YEP by fluke they match beautifully to the focus fabric so there should be some continuity from the centre block to the borders - now to just work on it. I also picked up a few notions at 50% off along with some Unique "Easy Stitch" which is perforated embroidery backing to try out.

Here's my focus fabric for the WR Pass the Stash Swap - bought in Toronto a number of years ago but did not get the companion fabrics - DUMB!!!

And here on the bottom left are three of the four FQs received from the swap that I'm going with and my two blotchie AWESOME "Glacier Park" fabrics I picked up today! Now I know I've a "gold" that goes with the focus fabric - it's just to find it in this mess!!!

Then I headed to Michaels thinking I could find the applique scissors there but NOPE no dice but SHOOT the beads were on sale picked up a load of packages and hopefully something in there will go with my "sun painted" fabric embellishing or any CQd project!!! I did not find anything to use my 40% off coupon on that I thought I needed or really wanted so beateded out of there fast like.

I finally showed up at the Aurora meeting late afternoon totally wiped out and feeling worse than at the start so definitely did not stay long. I did enjoy what I heard of Sharon's "beaded" talk and ordered my crazy patch kit from her along with some shopping from Copperfields (she works for them and brought some books, notions, ribbons and floss to sell to us). I picked up two packages of Anna Silk ribbon and Floss Packages with Charms by PLAID Bucilla and they are in the muted nature's colour pallette and 50% off so snatched them up fast. One has gold wedding rings in there and that's probably as close as I'll get to owning a set - LOL! - the other one is a large heart with three crystals in the centre. BUT the purchased piece de resistance for me today is the book - I just love it and can't wait for the CQd BookMark swap in my group to start so I can use some of the embroidery from there on them!!! The book is "beautiful Beaded Embroidery" by C&T Publishing with 17 Elegant Projects - WOW! - and cheaper than Amazon!

And I also received a slightly delayed Christmas gift today of a beautiful ceramic angel holding a 2008 calendar which in future I'm going to somehow incorporate her into a crazy patch block - she'll just beautiful. Also in that package was a pair of fuzzy warm socks, two large spools of Eqyptian cotton #50 satin finish thread in my neutral colours and a mottled blue FQ! Thank you so very very much Dianne, it is all lovely and definitely more than I expected!

So on the way home I decided to check out our other Michaels store for those scissors but NOPE no dicerooie and I walked out without being tempted more so there. I did stop on the way home though and picked up my favourite - a large French Vanilla Cappuccino from Tim Hortons and OHHHHHH Bliss!!!

So now it's to the grudge of laundry and dishes and hopefully play with some stitching for the rest of today. And if it turns out my younger sister may be in the city to visit tomorrow - she called to give me notice!!! LOL!

Gosh it's now 6:00 pm and I'm finally finishing this posting!!! But two loads of laundry are finished and the last load for me tonight is just washing!!!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Ornaments Completed

Okay, finally my babies are completed, crocheted and assembled and embellished and are ready to be mailed this week. I hope that when they finally arrive that you like them and that they grace your tree or home next season!

"Snowflake Ornament" designed by: Lee Mathewson (freebie online)

Crocheted Angel (now the gold is not right in this picture and I could not adjust it either) from a book of Angels I have and right now have misplaced in that mess of a sewing room so can't give you the actual name. BUT I changed the actual layout to my liking over the years and then the hair to gold, along with the lower edge. There was another version with blue glitter crochet cotton but I don't seem to have pics of that one, but I was not that thrilled with it - guess I'm to traditional when it comes to Angels!

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Retirement or Not?

Yep that seems to be my delimma lately, but I can tell you if it is up to me it will be RETIREMENT and the soonest I can do that is the end of May, 2010. God willing that this is possible.

I've had many scenarios thrown at me.

1. Retire ASAP and supplement pension income with a part time job until I'm 60 when CPP kicks in.
2. Take an extended vacation leave to travel summer of 2010 and return to work to retire at the end of that year and receive about $60 more a month.
3. Take an extended vacation leave to travel summer of 2010 and return to work till I'm 60 for about $100 more a month.

Hmmm, what to do, when to do it, and even if to do it??? I HATE indecision!!! And I'm out of my ceasar cocktails too!!! Darn it!

Well I know one thing for sure, whenever I retire, I'll be enjoying it stitching wherever I go!!! I want to spend my remaining days happily stitching away - at least I have accumulated the stash to keep me busy for more than one lifetime!!!

Thursday, January 03, 2008

What's on the Agenda Next?

Well guess it's the Christmas ornaments next!

Honest, I did take them to Dauphin with me during Christmas and managed to get quite a few of them stitched up (even my Dad was nodding his approval when I showed him what I was doing), now to work on the others and then to do the assembly and embellishing and those too will be finished - hopefully this next week or so. Thankfully what I chose are items that can be displayed all year long so the gals can enjoy these for a bit before deciding if they are "All Season" or just "Christmas" and pack them away with their other decorations. Nope I'm not showing you pictures until they are finished - sorry!!!

Ahhhh but I can show you my BDE online mystery project that I've finally started while at Adeline's too! (Brazillian Dimensional Embroidery)

See I said we were stitching during New Year's and I'm surprised we got as much done as we did with all the eatin and a munchin we did - never mind the wine a sippin - LOL!!! The only thing is Mrs. T's only had one green boucle Edmar rayon thread and it was not varigated so will have to introduce other greens that are, to break up the too solid trunk. I'm very pleased with what I've stitched so far and hope to get to that again maybe during the weekend - depends on the ornaments!!!

And then January 19th starts my three Saturday online classes of Quilt University, Upside-Down Applique. I sure don't know what to expect with this, but am really looking forward to this and hopefully learning a technique that I can apply to my Colourwash quilt that has flowers appliqued in the centre blocks. At least this is the first class I've been pleased with the chosen pattern so hopefully that will help in getting it completed!!!


Yep, that means I'm finally caught up with my tardy postcards and these Victorian beauties will be in the mail tomorrow morning! PHEW!!! All I can say is I played lots during New Years with these while stitching with Adeline and I'm very very very pleased with them.

Even though I have one of these already from another group's swap, I did another for myself but changed the colour of the flowers this time.

NOPE, I'm not happy with that (too overpowering) and thankfully I realized BEFORE embellishing the others, so I returned to the original scheme of colours and am very pleased. So hope my swap partners are too.

Guess that is why these colours were chosen in the first place. LOL!

And this last one is the one I did originally a while back but did the coral satin stitching and was not keen on that so this time I changed to a grey, think I like that lots better!!!

Batiks Rec'd

Ohhhh these are soooooo soft and talk about MY COLOURS!!! I sure hope that Suki passes on my Thank Yous to his Mother for her so awesome choices and such a generous gift too!

Yep, definitely I will have to find some patterns and make myself something to wear out of the gold and the green pieces. The taupe/blue/green piece is a rectangular shawl with knotted tassels on the ends so I'll just keep that as is and look for a nice basic black or navy dress to show it off! WOW the feel of these is like rayon but just a softer cotton.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Ringing in 2008

Well I slipped and slided out of Manitoba and into NW Ontario and back again no problemo but with much annoyance with my windshield washers and wipers. First it was they would not go on and it was a slushy mess out but I finally coaxed them to work sporadically at least and then on the way back turned on to clear the splashes and then continued to spray till the tank was empty (30 miles down the road with a couple of attempts of shutting the car off to see if that would work) but the wipers stayed on until I arrived home and unplugged the connection under the hood. First it was the weather and then my car, it sure was a testing my patience weekend and if it wasn't for the fact I hate walking in the dark I just might have ditched it enroute!!!

BUT my ringing in the New Year with Adeline was just great and very peaceful (well except for my yakking - probably she's rethinking another invitation - LOL!) and we even checked out the new quilt shop and had a nice visit then I got dropped off at The Blue Heron shop and picked up a few tiny ornaments on clearance and then walked back to Adeline's - muchly needed I tell you! Oh yes we ate to our stomachs' content and then some and once the driving was finished with we added in the wine too!!!

Yes we did accomplish a LOT of stitching too, much to the chagrin of Pokey her son's cat who wanted attention off and on - even pets from me too (yes Benedryl to the rescue - chuckling). It was an awesome few days and I thank you very much Adeline and look forward to my summer stop ins and hopefully some more quilty lessons from you again. By the way, Adeline is shy and really did not want me taking pictures of her but I could not resist Pokey's antics at disturbing her hand sewing of quilt blocks for a top!!!

He He He here's my friend Adeline and Pokey checking out her thread. Yep, I got the okay to post the full picture so I've changed it.