Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Day #2 - Dogs/House Sitting

Well at least this year I didn't set off the alarm entering the house!!!  And I left my car at home and am busing it so I don't have to worry about shovelling to get out the back lane or about a parking ticket on the road!  Thankfully I only have three working days this week so it's not so bad and I get to relax with my Christmas wine, the dogs and the fireplace for New Years!!!  BUT will I make it???

Okay I got home today and finally they opened up to me and cuddled for half an hour and then kept me company during supper.  After that they found their own spots while I tatted and watched hockey.  Then the fun began!!!

See every evening the girls go out for their constitutional walk but I'm not sure what's gotten into them this time around as half way around this very long block they literally open up the throttles and them four short legs are just a clipping down the sidewalk trying to outrace each other and even some excited barks too boot!  WELL even at a brisk walk I can't keep up, so I do spurts of jogging with them but shoot I ain't no spring chicken no more and finally had to put the brakes on and hold them in check for a brisk walk.    Yep and when we got home they tolerated a few towel rubs and then demanded their treats!!!  SHEESH no wonder I can barely stay awake till 10:30 before crashing!!!

All I can say is if I don't loose some weight before my Dr apt something is wrong.  Cause since October I've cut out second helpings, even stopped my regular Pepsi binges along with just about cutting out most sweets and I'm finding my snug clothes are getting loose on me - YEAH!!!  I'm drinking more water that's for sure and occassionally have a diet Pepsi and lime but sometimes that lasts all evening and I even spill it out so I'm not even buying it anymore regularly.  It was kinda hard over Christmas as everyone was bringing in sweets or cookies etc but I managed. 

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas 2009

Ohhhhhh yes I got back about 1:30 this afternoon from visiting family in Dauphin and my Dad was a sweetheart and quite agreeable with most things after the initial lambasting I got for traveling in the stormy conditions. Actually it wasn't so bad, it's just some of the stupidity of drivers in such conditions and the stray wildlife that made it a might interesting at times. LOL!

As usual my visit started off with tidying up but not much as this time my sister's had done most the week before. So I kinda played barber and cleaned up some stray growth along Dad's hair line so he was cleanly groomed for Christmas. I think he liked that very much even though I could tell he was a might leary with me and the electric trimmers! LOL - heck I was petrified but didn't tell him that! Then my chore was to peel and dice three large onions - yep I questioned that too but these girls don't know what it's like to "cut-back" on fats etc and I'm sure we'd have been okay with two onions too. Oh well.

My sisters' were more conservative in the food department this year and truthfully it was still more than enough for all and even though they took most of the leftovers home Dad and I still had enough for three days of meals. I think Pops was more than happy when he saw the ham steak out, me peeling potatoes and pulling out mixed veggies for supper yesterday! He quickly asked if I was going to make some gravy - I just chuckled and asked if he'd like some. Well he grinned from ear to ear knodding yes and just about licked the dish clean after enjoying his supper. Yes it was quite the change from the cabbage rolls, perogies, pickeral, salmon n stuffing, and the yucky salad which he tolerates - chuckling! There were other items but the above were more than usual and had to be eaten up before spoiling. I even left him some mashed potatoes and gravy for today, wonder if he cleaned it all off??? He just LOVES his gravy and would have it every meal if someone made it for him!

Basically I visited with him and after supper returned to my younger sister's to visit with them and relax for the evening. Then they decided to go on a road trip to visit one of the son's in Alberta so I got to cat sit too! Now these cats own the house and tell you basically when it's treats time and cry cause you are up later than their bedtime - SHEESH!!! Blackjack this morning even swatted his ball at me wanted some exercise I guess but I didn't have the time so gave then extra treats before I left! Not sure if that was a good trade off or not. Yes this cat somehow plays ball with you but I swear you get more exercise than he does.  One of their pasttimes is sitting in the picture window on the huge cat play structures and watch the birds at the feeders.  Well with all the fresh snow falling I just had to take a picture.

When I got into Winnipeg I dropped off my stuff and then rushed off to my Lace Group meeting and tried to tat more butterflies, yep the key word was try!!! I did two attempts then just scrapped it totally and just chatted with the ladies before heading home and checking the zillion emails waiting for me. So one more Christmas is past and onto a new year again.

My 2009 Christmas Cracker

Ohhhh yes I got back about 1:30 this afternoon from visiting family in Dauphin and my Dad was a sweetheart and quite agreeable with most things after the initial lambasting I got for traveling in the stormy conditions. Actually it wasn't so bad, it's just some of the stupidity of drivers in such conditions and the stray wildlife that made it a might interesting at times. LOL!

Okay in the CQI group we had a Christmas Cracker swap.  So I've finally unwrapped the block and I LOVE the colours you've used Kerry and I can see this as maybe my future Christmas RR block or maybe something I'll just work on here and there on my own. Guess will have to see what's inside and then decide!

OHHHH WOW!!! I totally LOVE all the fabrics in your cracker for me, especially that brown beaded fabric and those butterflies and green squared stitched satin/silk and the wine with the two puffy flowers n embroidered leaves/stems and those other two embroidered fabrics. HECK I LOVE THEM ALL!!!!!!!!!! Also include were: 3 lovely machine embroidered motifs trim, varigated floss, silk ribbons, Krenik gold blending filament, Needlepoint ribbon (don't know about this - will have to research it), sequins, Mill House glass beads, fancy buttons and a Gingerbread girl charm. THANK YOU very very much Kerry and I'm going to iron the ties out as I love the colours of that ribbon too.

That was an awesome pressie to come home to and once I'm back from my dogs/house sitting I'm going to have to buckle down to some serious quilting and stitching days.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

My Niece's Renovations!

Okay I still can't figure out this new blogger update and I hate it!  Wonder if I can go back to how it was???  YES, I will give it some time and see if I can adjust!!!

Anyways, here are the new pics I took today of Pat & Randy's new "home" and yes it's a home now, not just a shell, or close to be house, but actually it is so close to finished that it definitely feels like a home again!!!  It's been a rough couple of years there abouts and I'm sure lots or hard work but it's looking GREAT!!!  Soon Randy you will be able to relax before something else needs your attention!

Here's the living room from the entrance and the tree is up and decorated - WOW!!!  And there's lots of room around it too!

And Belle's bed is right there so she can see what is going on keeping tabs on all!  She can't allow any fallen scraps to escape her attention!

Here's a pic of the dining into the living room from the old part of the original house - standing where the "bathroom" used to be and now it's a fair sized open area around the open basement stairs.

Talk about an awesome dining room ensemble and they got it free from Pat's co-workers and that little nook is just perfect for the china cabinet.  On the opposite wall is their master bedroom and it's the opposite - has two nooks on either side of the bed - neato - not quite finished there yet!

Here's the dining room (patio French doors to a missing deck yet to be reassembled) with built in pantry looking into the kitchen - Sylvia doing something!

The north wall of kitchen overlooking the stairway to the basement and open view of most of the house.

Yep it's my kitchen but others can cook - no problem there!!!  Nah that's not what she was saying but chatting with Amanda when I snapped the pic.  They still have the large window over the sink which I liked just new windows.

This is from the open area looking into the old living room which is now the den or Pat's sewing studio.  Yes that's a bed in the middle but only visible when needed.  See it's a Murphy bed and hinges up into a cupboard - which I've yet to see the finished look.  This room has a single French door to allow some privacy and keep the pets out too when companies over.  Sorry Belle and Angel!

Now in that open area between the basement stairs and the entrance to the den/studio there is a nook backing the kitchen and here sits an antique hutch which proudly shows off Pat's Christmas Village and Byran's/Keirnan's recently made gingerbread house which he's real proud of and probably can't wait for Christmas when they can dive into those jelly beans, jujubes and other goodies on it.  Even I was tempted to sneak a couple of pieces but resisted cause I know he'd have been upset!!!  Nice job boys!!!

And last but definitely not least is Grandpa (my brother-in-law) who has become Belle's new found friend - he must be sneaking her extra treats!!! 

Yep, it's sure looking more and more like home and basically the around the edges finishing here and there to finish off!  I LOVE the new bathroom too - more pics to follow when bedrooms are finished too.  Way to go Pat and Randy (and helpers too)!!!

Another CQd Block Finished!

WELL first off I can tell you that I'm not impressed with this "updated blogger" and until I can understand why it's done what it's doing on my so smoothly running blog then I'll know what to do to get it back to my liking!!!

I've got to learn that I have to slow down not try and speed up after my work day!!! This old bod just can't keep up with my wants!!! LOL!

Oh boy did I ever find Lisa's “song” theme DYB quite challenging. Naturally, I picked one with angels, my favourite. I LOVE your fabric choices BTW!

So I started off with the Venice lace angel and seam treatment which were shiny off-white, so I did my first tea-dying and just LOVE the effect. I really wanted a gold/bronze harp for this angel but no such luck so she’s holding a star – if you have a harp and want to change it please go ahead!

Then I used DMC metallic gold for the Bethlehem Star and do apologize for the tension problem and also the mess on the back – even though this is better than my other attempts – I’m still not happy with the result and need more practice. I sort of emulated the swirls in the batik into the seam treatment and added the beads and then the floating smaller stars.

I also wanted to “tat” you a star but that was not happening so I settled for the just learnt split rings for a seam treatment and beads at the switches. Then I embroidered the pine stems that were shown and added the gold dove.

Leslie suggested more beading if I was stumped, I took her suggestion and used my topaz like squares and added other embroidery and beads to them. I kinda like this powerful treatment – another first!

Then I decided I better embroider the words onto the song sheet fabric before everything else gets in the way and boy was I ever glad I waited as the “Gloria” was going to be on the first line – well it would have been totally covered with the Venice lace treatment!!! Now wish I had waited to add the beaded angel to the bottom right corner “AFTER” the BAS #43 moss stitch seam treatment - talk about a major mistake!!! Then I filled in with tiny stars.
I think this is now finished and hope you like it. Now onto the next block for a small part to be a round robin to make up for the one person who had to drop out.

And finally here is Margreet's and my blocks side by side!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

I don't Like Shopping!!!

Okay guess I should correct that, I LOVE to shop for my hobby necessities, I HATE clothes and grocery shopping PERIOD!!!!!!!!! It's crazy out there but first off was my treat to myself - manicure and pedicure!!! I felt like a Queen and then felt I could brave whatever is out there after the pampering! So I just did the necessities and mostly stuck to the items on sale and what I know I would use etc, well except for the crafty stuff.

See I've just tea dyed my first Venice Lace trims and love them but the angel needed some nice sparkly ribbon for her waist and floating around her - finally found some thin enough. Then was looking for some gold/bronze coloured harps for the angel to hold - zippo - so had to settle for silver harps and music notes - dang it!!! Even Michaels didn't have any but I did find some bible charms that might work! I did pick up some rayon DMC floss and hope to liven up this block some with it and the other trims. Then I stopped into ValuVillage and found a decent chair for $10, some light knit gloves, an awesome puzzle (hope all the pieces are there and when put together will take a pic) and naturally a couple of pocketbooks.

Then I braved Shoppers for more stamps and some sale items, then Safeway for more sale items and lastly filled up with gas and then HOME to relax. I wanna play with those Winter/Christmas blocks and hope to finish them before Christmas so when I get back I can ship them off and work on Leslie's Sugar Plum Fairy block. I've got it all planned out just need the time to work on it while I'm house/dogs sitting between Christmas and Jan 3rd - enjoying the fire place and only three days of work - the rest relaxing!!!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Trying out new Tatting Thread

WOW talk about delicate looking and I'm not that smooth of a tatter yet on the fine Size 30 cotton threads. BUT I could not resist trying out the new thread "A Leaf Falls" from Yarnplayer that I received recently. I LOVE IT and it's soooooo much better to tat with than crochet cotton - well the looser twist ones especially - so smooth to the touch too. LOL! Yes and I REALLY REALLY REALLY LOVE the colours of this threads transitioning too! See for yourself!

Now that
Very Small Butterfly (by Jane Eborall) is about 3/4 x 1/2 inch and the Dragonfly (by Riet) is about 1.5 x 2 inches (I changed the wrapped chains to split rings easier for me) - which is a shade smaller than the others I made with the Size 20 cottons before. Very delicate looking.

Monday, December 14, 2009

North Pole Postcards

Okay I finished my last set of swapping postcards for this year, the day before the mailing deadline! I had some trouble with the cotton I was using for the tatted Snowmen (yep my own pattern as part of a challenge in my tatting group) but finally had enough for all four cards! PHEW!!! That's two swaps in a row that are mailed on time if not a might early (previous swap) - hope I'm getting better with my deadlines!!! I sure hope so as it's not fair that some have to wait for my tardiness.

Yes, I took my pictures and here they are:

Top left: Mine, Joy A.
Bottom left: Mary V, Wendy G

These are bonded appliques machine stitched in place then the tatted snowman added before assembling the postcards. As yet I still don't have ink for my printer so the backs are hand penned. I can't wait to take mine into work and add it to the others on my desk! Hope they are liked by those receiving them.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Quilt Competition to check out!

Okay first off I do not have anything in this competition but there are some very lovely entries and two separate competitions: Wall hangings and Large quilts.

Holiday Traditions Quilt Contest

Yes, I voted for my choices in both categories and I'm not telling. Once you've voted then the results are displayed and so farm my choices are not at the top. I say Good Luck to all entrants and their quilts.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Final Tatted Design!!!

Okay I know now that I enjoy making whatever tatting pattern catches my eye, I really do not enjoy "designing" tatted patterns!!! At least I can say I tried my hand (actually my mind) at it and now can go back to leaving that to the "designers"!!!

So here is my last attempt (marked 3rd & 4th) that I dreamt up the other night but not sure I like it either! I think #3 is the one I'm steering towards for my postcards but just a bit bigger middle circle. Do you like the background fabric, kinda appropriate I thought???

Then tonight in Chatzy the girls found a couple of links for me to check out and Janie explained the steps for Mock Picot and Lock Stitch and I finally got it!!! My practice piece ain't something to look at, but shows I did it!!!

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

FACES DYB RR Update!!!

Okay, this is the last update for my Faces DYB RR until they arrive back home, then I have to do up my own block before turning them all into a beautifully stunning wall hanger for my bedroom! Yes I'm bragging and they are more than I ever expected to see on what I thought were boring fabrics - but the gals chomped the bit and galloped away with such WOW ideas that some have had me totally speechless. Now most of my friends know that is very hard to do!!!

Star Goddess by Gerry K

And here
Gerry put them all together - ain't they somethin'???

Okay, the above from left to right are Leslie #2, Gerry, Diane, Leslie #1, and Nicki - Thank you ladies for all your creativity way beyond my expectations!!! WOW! So anyone have any ideas of what my block should have to continue this Celestial theme???

Previous entries can be seen

Tatting Design Adjustments

Okay, I played more with my design and have come up with this Snowman. I really do LOVE the idea growing and can't wait to play more!!!

Now as you can see the middle or upper body circle still needs some work on it to be more better proportioned but I'm too tired and my back too sore (took some muscle/pain meds) and going to crash soon. I did at the guild meeting redo my pattern and hopefully tomorrow will tat it and see how it will look. BUT I can say this SCMR challenge sure has me hooked and I can see these babies will definitely grace my North Pole postcards this weekend.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

My FIRST Tatting Design!

OH MY!!! Within our NSAN Yahoo Group Cynthia, our instructor, issued a challenge to the group after our self closing mock ring SCMR technique lesson/chat to use this technique and design your own Snowman. WELL I LOVE Snowmen so studied this SCMR over and over and then started my design on paper. Then when I thought I understood what I was doing picked up the two shuttles and went to work. Here's the results!

Now I must say the very first attempt was scrapped when I got totally confused and missed a step. So my first "finished" attempt is on the left and I joined the first circle picots to the second circle picots which created ripples instead of lying flat. So I began again and allowed more DSs at the beginning and end of the second circle to allow these rings to not interfere with the first circle rings - lies flatter. Now when I do it again I will make one or two more sets of DSs and rings on the bottom circle and I think that will be more Snowman like. OK back to making more of these so I can get my North Pole postcards finished this weekend too!!! YAHOOIE!!!


Okay this weekend was geared to some of everything but here's what I have to show!

This is another beaded dragonfly which is not attached to anything and can be made into a broach or stitched to a CQd block or whatever the recipient so desires and is winging itself to the USA right now - escaping our chilly temps that's for sure! I also made one for my friend Michelle while at her place yesterday afternoon tatting - she thought of me on her second hand store jaunts and picked up some lovely #20 red and three #80s in white and black - YIKES not sure when I'll be up to doing that size! Definitely will need magnifiers on my glasses!

Then I tried again the Split Rings Heart and it turned out really nice I think. I can see myself doing more of these for CQing medallions.

Yes I've been designing my SCMR Snowman and have an idea but as yet not into the tatting stage, maybe tonight!

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Tatting Again!

Well after my thread sorting yesterday, I got down to business and stitched up fourteen basic 9-patch blocks that will be sent today to my WR group for their Emergency Services @ Sylvan Lake donation quilts for the 2010 retreat. I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong as I was careful in cutting out the squares all the same then used the guided 1/4 inch foot BUT my blocks varied from 12.5 inch squares to 12.25 inch squares. The fabrics were washed so I'm sure it's not the pressing causing the shrinkage - I know it's not much but HECK it's annoying when you are trying to get the blocks the SAME size!!!

So after that I decided to get back into my tatting and do the two missed "extra" patterns to do with the self closing mock ring (SCMR) stitch/technique. And after two hours talk about frustrating as my core thread BROKE when trying to do the lock join (LJ). Well at least I'm doing the SCMR properly and found out why my LJs were movable instead of locked. See I was passing the core thread shuttle up through the back of the loop instead of down through the front of the loop - yes it locked and as the picture showed - BROKE!!!

Then when checking why the long rings is crooked I find I picot joined to the second instead of the first picot - SHEESH!!! So that's it on this thread, this is the second try on this heart pattern, and guess I'll go back to my #10 crochet cotton and attempt it once again hoping the thicker thread will withstand my working and allow me to finish the pattern so I get the drift of it. It actually is very nice and would like to make some for medallions for my CQing someday!

I'm going for a walk and fresh air to clear out the cobwebs! LOL!

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Threads Sorted

Okay, I was going to start some quilt blocks but could not find my cotton threads and bobbins!!! That's enough - I promptly spent an hour and got them sorted out and boxed - hopefully now contained and easily found for future use!!!

Do you remember this box Linda? Thank you very very much for passing them onto me as they are just perfect for keeping my cottons (spools and bobbins) in one place. Well that is for now as I've only a select few colours at the moment.

Then I took the smaller box the cottons used to try and fit into and I've moved my polyester bobbins and larger spools that don't fit into the Matchbox cars plastic carrier from Walmart that holds my regular and large spools so far. Yep lots easier than all these bobbin holders and bags of bobbins on my work station.

Then I have a clear shoebox (no pic) that some time ago I moved all my fancy rayons and metallics into and they too are easier to find when in one place with their bobbins!!!

YAHOOOIE one step at a time and I just might get my sewing more organized???

Friday, December 04, 2009

Gift Wrap It Postcards finished!

Yep a set of postcards finished and I still have till the 15th for mailout along with four more fronts only - WOW I think that's a first for this girl!!! And they were a little pain in the XXXX as my original idea had to be scrapped as I just could not figure out the tatting pattern for the poinsettia and so I went to plan B. Hope it's OK!

The first three are for swapping, the single one is mine! Now I've had trouble figuring out which is the right and which is the wrong side of these so I went with what appeared to be the nicest side so not sure why the first one I made according to pattern (figured it was too large so reduced the stitches in the others) is opposite!!!


Ohhhh boy, I always knew what those letters meant but today I truly know why that phrase came about!!! Yep I truly had a "B" of a day right from the start, knew I should have stayed in bed. Oh well, thems the breaks I'm sure everyone has in their lives also.

At 10:00 am I had to escape for a quick walk and breather and hopefully relax - LOL! So I zipped over to the bank, got some lottery tickets and stopped for my favourite coffee before getting back to the craziness. It did get straightened out and I did get back to my work but at the end of the day I made a quick trip to the LC and bought myself a bottle of wine, stopped at the store and got a frozen pizza and other goodies then home to relax. I hope at least!

Today at work there was a lobby sale of African items and I could not resist this cute little gourd painted as a sort of Victorian looking Santa holding a wreath and then I saw the pieces of fabric and could not resist this panel (25.5 X 17.5 inches).

I've decided I will layer it, embellish it with beadery and embroidery and then quilt it for an office wall hanging! I think it will be sort of primitive but yet awesome - at least I hope so.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

What a Lucky Day for Me!!!

WOW this was a lucky day for me!!! Along with receiving the last set of Faces blocks - WOW!

See my co-worker asked me if I was still making crafts – ornaments especially – I said not really. Well I was looking for some other ornaments and came across of box of my craft sale ornaments still left over so I brought them in for her to see them. WOW WEEEE, I just sold most of them to her. See she too has lost the box of “special” ornaments at her home and the kids are asking for their angels (from me) and she can’t find them.

Then I found yet in a Lewiscraft bag, probably not even used, a lovely drop decoration for the door and was going to put it up in the office when another co-worker said she LOVED it and wanted to buy it off me. So I asked her if she was serious and she bought it and gave me more than I asked too!!! WOW!!!

So not only did I clean out two storage pieces from my sewing room, but made some spending money too!!! WOW!!! Wonder what else I can find lost in that room???

Well, somehow we had misplaced my "special" ornaments that I kept for the office in our cleanup for painting and reshuffling. Then last year I brought in more from home and this year I could not find them - what gives!!! So late in the day I decided to go through all my filing cabinets and about halfway through I came across this box with my ornaments. So I then spent the last half hour adding some to the tree. Now I'm wondering if it's overdressed!!!

So yes it's been a good day but maybe too much excitement as I've a headache!!!

Another Set of FACES DYB Rec'd

Okay the "last set" of these FACES DYB RR blocks has arrived and I just had to show them off! They are sooo cute, they had coworkers chuckling, even a few of the guys too!

So now I have to do my magic and create a Sugar Plum Fairy too, at least Leslie made the faces - thank goodness or I'd be for sure lost, so I just have to figure out how to attach it and go to town! See I've been researching these creatures for a couple of weeks and have some idea of what I'll be doing. Just to pull it off!!!

Another FACES Block Finished!

Well I’m very impressed with Nicki’s blocks and especially with what the others have done on their chosen blocks for her too!!! VERY LOVELY!!!

Now I must say I thought and thought about my block ahead of time - had my idea set, then last week had to change it as my initial mermaid idea I knew would take too dang long to do. So hopefully this one works for whatever idea Nicki has for these blocks? But who knew embellishing/beading would take me a week of evenings to do!!!

First I started out with trying Ritva’s BAS #40 (build a seam) in the top right, first with little semi drop pearl buttons – not good; then another bead – not good; and finally settled on these beads. Then I went to my trusted NZ JOs postcard booklet and did the trusted but easy fern in feather stitch down the left side. And I also tried a new one and totally love it in Japanese Button-hole Twist in the bottom right, the pink just pops. Naturally I played with beading on the fronds on the right and also for the ferns on the left. Still I had this gaping hole (guess I’m stepping into the well embellished phase???) top left so I found a shell button and did my own thing for it.

And then I noticed a couple of seams still bare so did some simple open cretan with a chain stitch and a fly stitch to mimic leaves and feel that it is ready now for Nicki’s lovely poly clay face I’d chosen.

So I stayed with my original plan of attaching the face with sequin flowers at the base, a larger green bead to anchor and then strings of gold seed beads across and down to the block through a shell teardrop. Yes I think it is just lovely! I thought of adding a row of beads along her face but was undecided so dropped that idea and declared this baby finished. Guess I just missed the cut off by a couple of days but now it’s onto Leslie and then it’ll be coming HOME!!!

Yep this Faces DYB is only one month away from being complete – well except for the block the owners have to embellish for a 6-pack! YEAH!!! I just can’t wait to see my blocks up close and personal like!!! I know first hand that pictures just don’t do the embellishments any justice.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Cathy's Giveway - Check it out!

Yep Cathy from Crazy by Design has a 6 package giveaway announcement. Check it out!

Now I've decided I'd be happy with these two packages and hope my name is in the draw for them. Thank you so much Cathy - what a generous person you are.

Pkg #2

Pkg #5