Sunday, September 26, 2010

A Different Retreat

Yes, it was not my usual quilting retreat this time.  Instead I joined some of the gals from our local Northern Lights Lacemakers group at Lauriet Landing in St. Norbert MB for a weekend of lacemaking (some tatters), rest, relaxation and general bonding with friends.  BUT how come I'm so tired!!!  I just about fell asleep at the wheel driving into the city and didn't dare stop to shop for groceries!!!

As usual the food at this facility is homecooked fare and delicious.  We naturally had a very wide variety of snacks etc just outside out meeting room with coffee, tea, and juice always available.  BUT the biggest difference from the quilting retreats is that there were only 14 of us instead of the 50-60 or more at a quilt retreat AND also no food or any beverage other than bottled water in the Green Room while stitching!!!  We did watch a CD of Jocylyn's vacation including lacemaking and also of "Elizabeth" later in the evening which the gals were admiring the costumes with lace while I cringed at some of the brutal parts within.  Surprised I didn't have nightmares from it.

Bobbin Lacemaking

It is amazing the various types/styles of lacemaking and where they evolved and then like everything else the patterns for each.  I'm just dumbfounded at how they can follow this simplistic drawing of a complicated piece with criss crossing of many threads on dangling bobbins (I keep calling them spindles) and then see this AWESOME design emerge from above all the pins.  WOW!!!  There were many OOOOOOHS and AAAAAHS of Ev's reduced bunny pattern and especially once finished it was placed next to Jocelyn's "rabbit"!  And many commented on another cute pattern of a mouse that Yvonne was working on!  Hmmmmm guess like other things there are the serious and then there are the cutsie patterns to enjoy.  As for the serious patterns I can tell you that it truly is amazing to see the differences of techniques and threads and even the types of patterns that these ladies were working on.  Mind boggling.

Lace Display going to Neepawa for an October show.
Ev's reduced bunny pattern.
Maija's tatted butterfly.
Ev's bunny - Jocelyn's rabbit!
Eva's collar - second time now!

At this year's retreat Ulla (from Saskatoon) presented "finishing" techniques along with examples to the group which I found interesting and useful in anchoring my crocheted and tatted creations too!  Jocelyn also brought in a mixture of beads and hat pins so those that wanted to could make "pin markers" for themselves for a small donation - great idea!  Then Ev (from Kenora) did a hands on crystal butterly bracelet workshop and I must say there were many wrists just a sparkling the rest of the day!  And as usual there was the Lace Market with some proceeds going back to the Group coffers for expenses and towards the end, what seemed to me, an endless doorprize drawing for various donated items.  
Rose Anne's butterfly bracelet

I found it hard enough venturing from my finally acquired skill at tatting the simplistic butterflies and dragonflies I've been doing to the Kokopelli and various hearts and now this weekend starting a teddy bear (listed as advanced - doing not too badly but I hate all the cut and ties) to a giraffe (found a difference in written to drafted instructions and corrected it) to last night's medallion which has me confused with it's piecemeal instructions so I'm writing them out step by step as I trully love this image.  I've found out that tatting instructions "assume" you know the steps that follow certain stitches etc and are not included which naturally has me all messed up!!!  SHEESH - can you imagine the mess if quilting patterns were written up like that!!!  Thank GOD for Eva and Maija who bailed me out twice this weekend from a couple of closed rings that I could not undo myself.  Love you both!!!

This was a totally different retreat also in respect that it is FALL whereas the quilting retreats I've attended here in the past were always mid-January - the dead of Manitoba's winter!!!  So it was just AWESOME to take an hour and go for my walk on the grounds coming across some ruins and the next day within the community and with my camera too.  No I didn't see any wild turkey's like in the winter, but we heard many geese honking and flying over this weekend along with the awesome beauty of Mother Nature's colour palette with the foilage.  Then the gently blowing winds swirling that colour all around - just beautiful. 

Why oh Why can we not have FALL as a full season of such beauty? Hmmm! 

A hearty thank you goes out to all who organized this retreat!  And I'm glad I was able to come and enjoy it too!

For more photos from the retreat please check out my Webshots album!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

I MADE IT!!!!!!!

Skip to Malu my Darling etc etc etc!!!

Yeppers that's how I'm feeling even though I've a headache - LOL!!! 

See in July 2009 my Dr advised me to slim down like 50 pounds and on my return visit in October, the beginning of this new life style, I decided my personal GOAL would be 30 pounds.  Any shedding of pounds after that would be a blessing, but I'd decided no diets, but a change in eating and more walking as I hate exercise. 

Well I've achieved my goal this past week plus!!! 
I've finally made up for the "relaxed" mode I'd been in this summer and officially a new me down 30.8 pounds!!!  YAHOOIE!!! 

The challenge will be to continue this new life style through our Manitoba winters!  I've bought myself a 6-month pass to the city's fitness centres so hope to use the indoor tracks for my walking and maybe even refresh in the pool before going home!  That is the plan!!!

More Tatted Postcards

WOW I've finished off a few more postcards embellished with tatting, embroidery and other embellishments -- a couple of days ahead of when I needed to deliver them too!!!  See there is a Lace Display at the Viscount Cultural Centre in Neepawa MB in October featuring our Northern Lights Lacemakers many bobbin lace and tatted items on display and for sale.  I'm not sure if I'll get out there to see it - I'd like to.

So here's my latest fabric postcards with tatted embellishments:


Now just to pack my clothes and items for the hands on workshop and I'm ready for the lace retreat starting Friday evening through to Sunday!  It's been said the weather is supposed to cooperate and be lovely fall temps so maybe I'll get some walking in again - this rain is not helping!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Walking Again!!!

Yep I decided to get my butt out there and at least have a casual walk so I can again build up to my brisk 1 hour walk before work again!!!  Enough of babying the sore hip/back, maybe this will work it out???  So I could not have picked a more beautiful day to do this either, talk about a perfect FALL day and I even took my camera with me to enjoy some of the scenics later on when winter invades as par for the course.

Gorgeous Legislative Building riverbank gardens/walkway to the river.

Assiniboine River once AGAIN higher than the public riverwalk to the Forks.

Entrance to River Ave from Osborne Street - love the turning colours.

Interesting flora landscaping on Wellington Cres.

I went my favourite route then returned home and walked up our poor demolished Assiniboine Ave for a more detailed look to the "madness" construction taking place.  So basically they've taken a two way street with various 3-way stop signs and parking on the riverbank side out and have put alternating one-ways in with triangular curbs in the intersections along with jutting out corner curbs to "funnel" traffic onto the north bound streets.  There are large raised rounded bumpers being installed along the parking lane and to the right of it is the cycling, rollerblading and/or skateboarding lane from Osborne through to Main Streets.  Right now if anyone is picking me up I walk up to Broadway to save them the hassle of having to drive through this mess.  I surely hope it improves soon!!! 

Corner of Kennedy and Assiniboine.

Looking towards Main St from Kennedy corner.

Taken from my apt entrance towards Edmonton St corner.

Here's a look at the bumpers they are putting in for dividers - apparently the pavement will come up and only a speed bump will remain.

From Edmdonton looking at the triangular divider at corners to funnel one-way traffic up Edmonton from both directions.

This is from Carlton St showing the limited parking on the opposite side now between widened corner curbs towards Edmonton St.

"Temporary"???  Okay if you say so!!!

This is from the once continuous parking lane along the riverbank side of Assiniboine Ave which will now be the bike, rollerblade, skateboard lane!

Here's a closer look at the triangular curbs being put into the intersections.

Hmmmm I'm really wondering how the transit, garbage, fire/rescue and even moving/delivery trucks are going to maneuver around in this area in the future - never mind the huge street cleaning machinery???  Ohhh and the apartment behind me has many handicap residents that used to be picked up along the curb, well now they will have to be brought out into the traffic lane to board Handi Transit vehicles which open only on the right side - HUH???  Apparently this construction is supposed to reduce the traffic to a "calming" effect for residents???  I don't think so and neither do the businesses/residents living here!  Guess time will tell on how "drivers" adjust to these changes.

A WOW Saturday!

Yes I know technically it is Sunday, but can't help it if there just was not enough time within Saturday to get everything in!!!  LOL!

Well it started off with picking up my sister's books from Copperfields and then off to the Aurora Quilters monthly gathering (and talk about a low turnout - where were you girls/guy???).  While at the meeting stitching on my CQI Making Memories block I found out that it was Tami who had passed onto me a two-fold carrying case (needing some gentle TLC) some time ago.  We also located some supplies for next week's charity quillow retreat weekend.

See this past few months I've been scouring the countryside for an appropriate tote for my tatting supplies to cart to meetings and next weekend to the Northern Lights Lacemakers retreat - zippo found as yet - and then one of our members mentioned to check out my makeup bags etc at home!  Hmmmm I really didn't have anything suitable BUT then I came across this recycled plastic case.  WELLLLL it's PURRRFECT as you can see and the remaining balls are either in a zippered pouch for travelling or a plastic shoebox for home storage.  Yep I think this will do for now, especially after Tami said to pick up some semi clear hockey tape (has a bit more substance to it than packing tape) and tape up the cracked corner - it worked!!!  As you can see the tins I was using were too small now!
Larger Section
Smaller Section

Then off to Michaels and Walmart to check a few things out (found a package of fancy buttons that had a couple of small cameo buttons within) and also stopped into the Fabric Centre to check out the lace (nope not on sale) and came across a piece of lovely fabric for my CQing and the clerk sold it to me for $1 (like a quarter metre strip) - WOW!!!  Now I'm not sure if you can see this but the right side of the fabric is shiny (on left) and the wrong side is matte (on right) so I think I'll get lots of use out of this piece whichever side I use!


Off I went home - BUT my "under construction" Assiniboine Ave was blocked by a tourist bus that could not make the corner and got it's back wheel hung up in the stupid jut out that was just curbed - not filled in as yet!!!  Yep there was a cop taking down info and CTV also filming it!  I don't know who dreamt up this supposedly "eco calming" plan but whomever it is should be a city bus/garbage/fire truck driver to see how these reduced driving lanes and directional traffic is going to be CRAZY and a total waste of tax payers money.  There are so many streets that need repairs and here they are removing muchly needed all-season parking spots all the way down the street and putting in a 3-season biking, rollerblading and/or skateboarding lane which is also restrictive to residencial/business parking access???  Totally INSANE - utter MADNESS!!!  I really think they've lost it this time. 

So traffic meandered onto the bike lane and then gently up the gravel ramp and over the raised dividers and I followed so I could get home to unload and pick up my tatting before heading to Kathryn's PJ party with fellow stitchers.  First though I stopped in as usual to ValuVillage and found this like brand new stretcher bar for canvasswork along with these two balls of crochet cotton for my angels!!!  What a bargain!!!

This PJ party was geared towards "Back to School" with tortilini soup, Cibati buns for your choice of sandwich fillings along with cookies, fruits and chocolate milk or pop - light n filling and delicious too!!!  And this time I picked up a Noel Hardanger pattern - hope to make it someday!!!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Another Postcard Finished!

Yes, I've finished off the second request this evening and now I'm kinda caught up and can just work on whatever I guess!!!  I've some tatting to finish off and make into postcards this next week too so will have to see how many I can get put together.  Then I've the Making Memories block to finish off for October mailout - yep still lots to work on!!!

This was a request for one of my "Lonely Island" postcards and I think I might even be getting better at stitching these up, just need to find more of this awesome batik I had found some time ago!  The first one I felt I overdid the paint embellishing and was not too thrilled with the result.  Then someone said the island was too black to try to lighten it up so with metallic grey I was able to do that and yes I do like it better.  BUT just incase it is not to their taste I did up a second one and tempered the paint embellishing.  So they can choose the one they like the best and I'll maybe have the other as a spare.

I wonder which will be more appealing???

Sunday, September 12, 2010

New Work Finally!!!

Okay, I've finally gotten to the stage that I've new pics to post and stories to blog about!!!  I was busy this summer with vacation leave and then five weeks of house and dogs sitting so my stitching time was kinda abbreviated.  Yes I did a lot of tatting of motifs and trims and stitching up of my two crazy patch round robin (CQ RR) blocks needed this month. 

First off I have two orders for postcards this summer - one is a CQd patch with a Friendship verse on it for my sister's quilting friend who's moving back south very soon.  It's finally finished and just posted so hopefully it arrives before they start to head home.  This one I added my tatted trim along with the beading, embroidery and charms.  My spider web is DMC metallic and the spider body is beaded with Edmar Lola rayon Bullion Knot legs and French Knot eyes.

While house sitting I started stitching up the 2010 Making Memories donation CQd block but didn't get far in embellishing.  I did tat an edging with a purple varigated and green cotton which turned out very nice along with my tatted dragonfly and butterflies and also found various laces and motifs for the block.  Today while over at my niece's for lunch and Banjo Bowl TV watching (not into football) I started anchoring the various trims in place.  Now I'm onto the embroidery stage for this block.

Once I got home I then finished stitching into place the centre motif (received as part of my 2009 motif swap within CQI - not sure who made it) with quilt batting within to pop it out some.  Now this "naked" block is ready for the Encrusted RR within CQI starting end of the month.  This is a heavily embellished RR which is the first of it's kind for me to participate in so I hope that I can do justice to everyone's blocks.  I know that I'll probably be asking some of the more experienced members within this group for some suggestions if I'm stuck (and this time ASAP and not let the block sit on my design wall to "talk" to me).  I want to keep this RR moving and not fall behind as mailing to the USA for some reason takes two weeks from here!

Okay that's it for today but I will blog again once I have more embellishments added to the Making Memories donation block.  Now it's back to finishing off the second postcard order and then more tatting and turning some of these into postcards for the Lace Display at the Viscount Cultural Centre, Neepawa, MB sometimes in October.  These have to be finished before September 24th for the Northern Lights Lacemakers retreat when items are handed over for this event.  Guess I have my nights all booked for the next few days!!!

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

A Card from Ireland

Well an unexpected postcard arrived for me the same day as Joan & Harold came home!!! And what a lovely one – one day I’ll get there and see it with my own eyes!!!  Also not fair but in the weeks they were in the British Isles no rain nor T-storms!!!

After their cruise they stayed a week at the following restored authentic castle with a few modern amenities added in tastefully!  WOW!!!

Monday, September 06, 2010

An AWESOME Weekend!

First Friday I met up with Florence from Aurora and we went to the house for a basic supper and to watch a DVD with the dogs and just relax.  WELL would you believe it - the volume disappeared just into the movie.  So we packed up the wine and went over to Florence's to finish watching it - The Backup Plan - a fun movie!

Then Saturday, I met up with Mary, a retired co-worker for brunch then did some shopping and bought a lovely dressy outfit, pants and capris all on sale.  And off to get my hair cut and this time had some bronze/copper highlights added - I love it!!!  Then back to do more shopping and haul some stuff back to the apt before meeting up with my three sisters in from Dauphin for supper!  Yep a lovely day, now what will Sunday bring.

WELL I didn't get out for my usual walk Sunday either, but made another drop at the apt (see I'm close to finishing my house/dogs sitting so it's time to move home soon) before heading over to Darlene's, another quilter friend, for an afternoon of stitching.  She made lunch for us - homemade garden fresh bruschetta and talk about YUMMY and also she made a scrumptious apple cake too for dessert!  Oh Yes, Darlene you spoiled me rotten and I probably put on a few extra pounds.  And JJ reminded me of the girls at the house so full of energy and wanting attention too!

Well needless to say Monday was AWESOME weather for a fabric painting activity day over at Pat's!  Yeppers fun was had by Dianne, Val, Roberta, Ann-Marie and myself and we all did our own thing.  I did bring along my Venice laces as I wanted some input as to how I could colour them and I think my head is FULL of various techniques and paints etc.  Two pieces were painted by Val and she gave them back to me to use in my CQing projects - now I have my own hand-dyed laces!!!!!!!!!!!!

Pat with her shaving cream piece.
Pat's unveiled sun print on hand-dyed fabric!  AWESOME!!!
Dianne and shiva stick painting.
Not sure what this is about really but apparently it is "flour paste resist" and the finished pieces are WOW!!!
The above resulted in the white fabric with black veins alongwith Pat's shiva project on black seen here also.
Here's another sample of that technique on blue fabric alongwith Dianne's shiva projects on black too, not sure what the other fabrics are about though.
Hmmmm what's so interesting in there?

Yeppers, thank you Pat for having us over and the weather so cooperative - could have had calmer winds, but that was OK too!  We missed the others who couldn't make it!

NowI only have one more sleep over and then hopefully I'll be back to my own home!!!