Monday, November 15, 2010

Manic Monday's....

Every Monday I seem to get the Bangles Song "Just another Manic Monday" stuck in my head.

Well from now on Manic Mondays will be what I wish to accomplish in the week.

Sewing Wise:
  • Dandelion bring the world together... Attach items and do the quilting.
  • Dragon Flies.... Finish colouring the dragonflies and attach items and quilt them
  • Random leaves. Compile design.
  • Drop of DS2 quilt and Turtle rampage off to get basted. (No more killing my back to baste for me!)
  • Gather my sewing stuff to take to Vermont so I don't forget anything.
Get caught up!!!!

  • Dinner on the table each night by 5:45 so everyone can go to their perspective things!!! (This does not happen if I do not plan ahead and leave it until later in the day)
  • Walk 3 days at least!
  • Buy an new Dehumidifier for basement.
  • Clean out my sweater shelf.
To often I try to leave things until I can do it all.. like clean the whole bedroom top to bottom or work on a piece until it is done.

Well no more it is to tiring with my fibro to tackle things this way and too exhausting. So I will finally do things in bits and pieces.

Next Monday we will see how I did.

PS I got this list idea from another blogger  and I will put a link to her blog here after I am done because I can't remember it off the top.

From Rosmary Makhan's Book More Biblical Blocks - a quilt in progress for our bed
Picture time:

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Wow. I am insprired...

Busy fall. Every weekend filled with commitments. Care giving - kids, parents, friends. 25th wedding celebration. Porcupines under the cottage. Computer crashes galore. etc.

But some of the commitments are coming to a close.

Here is some of what I have been up to.
Art Quilts - I made four. This is my Mr. Gecko. The gecko was hand painted. The quilting does not show up well. I have to learn how to take better pictures. But the whole thing was machine quilted on my home machine. The tiles are made by my friend a Raku Potter - Lisa Skog.
I love this foray into the art quilt world.
Here are the other three pieces made for a September show.

All of these should be rotated to the right orientation but I am having problems with my arthritis  in my hands and I guess I am to lazy to care right now.

I sold the piece with the oriental tiles. And there was some interest in a show at a local gallery.

Friday afternoon and Saturday are mine to play. ( I do have a commitment for part of the day ) I cleared the surfaces in the "Room of Gloom and Dispare" aka. my sewing room so I can work.

I have my new computer up and running. In goes my videos, teaching lectures or podcasts.

Also I won a draw from Stash Manicure for 21 fat quarters from Riley Blakes Hooty Hoot. Now I wonder what
I will make with that?????

On another note here is another fun picture. 25 years ago I was married.

and Saturday night my friends made my DD try on my dress.

I think my daughter is worried that 1. I once had a skinny waist too and 2. I will make her wear this dress.
Don't worry DD I won't make you wear it. I pressure future grandchildren instead.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


Thanksgiving Weekend...

For us in Canada it was this weekend. For numerous years it has been spent by our family at a cottage on Lake Muskoka here in Ontario. Our little cottage in the woods is the place where our whole family relaxes. We have "cottage time" where things happen at a slower pace. We get up later, we eat later, we nap, we play games, and we laugh more than usual.

My kids are always allowed to invite a friend. Sometimes that means one extra and sometimes more.

My parents usually come so we get my mom's wonderful cooking and we get a "relaxed" version of my dad. He is very funny when he is relaxed.

This year it was nine of us. My family five+ one great niece + two grandparents + my son's one friend. And of course the ever faithful family black lab.

Sometimes it is a cold weekend where we huddle inside with the fireplace on and others like this weekend it was sunny and quite warm for October.

My DD took umpteen pictures with my new camera. Every year the same views but different colours on the trees.

This year was year of the orange leaves. Some years they are brilliant red.

What does this have to do with quilting? Well sometimes in your life you like one colour more than another. Or you have to work in a different colour palate than you are use to. Sometimes you have to work from your stash and sometimes you just have to buy.

I have a mom that is very practical. In her life she has had to be thrifty.  She is very generous in spirit but there is definite parameters. She likes to sew, likes to quilt but loves to cook, bake and can. She has a hard time buying fabric with out a purpose. She actually thinks it is wasteful and is critical of "those" people who just make quilt after quilt with no purpose accept to make another one. She thinks she has allot of fabric. But I know it is contained in one or two boxes.

I on the other hand have many more boxes of quilt fabric- maybe 8 Sterilite boxes of under a meter including fat quarters and a cupboard shelf of larger pieces or ones put aside for a project. (Please do not look at the other wall in the laundry room with the other fabric types.) I think I spend way to much on fabric and must admit when I see others "wall o'fabric" (as my kids call it) I get thinking critically of others.

My ever practical daughter now comes into play. "Mom - Why do you quilt?"
Me: "Because I love it. It makes me happy. I get to create something. "
DD: "Then just do that."

So that's what I will do. Quilt, create and enjoy the gift I have been given.

And by the way if you see my mom don't tell her how much fabric I have, what she doesn't know can't hurt her and we will all stay happy!

Monday, September 6, 2010

The endless circle...aka cleaning the sewing room, making a mess....

I had been busy sorting and cleaning my room. It did get somewhat cleaned up and then disaster struck again. I am a closet neat freak. I can live with mess only so long before it throws my anxiety meter over the brink. But I also am a pack rat and love to collect. My inner muse is constantly at war with itself.

Disaster came with a few very happy sewing sessions with my DD. She wanted to finish up some projects before she heads back to school for fall semester. She is a doll!  She completed one quilt top sewn and sandwiched, and two lovely purses. All this while working fulltime! She has "got bit" with the sewing bug. Yeah someone to play with!

When she was little (and her brothers too!) we did crafted almost everyday. There always were supplies available. The neighbour kids came over and crafted too! (messy but fun) The kids always played where I sewed in our family room. Now I have a room of my own off the family room. I can see them through the glass doors. They venture in to tell me how their day went or if they have a life crisis or to find out what is for dinner. Now it is completely satisfying to have her join me for a day of play.

A good friend has been encouraging me to explore art quilting. So I have jumped right in and have been playing. They will be for sale at a local art festival as a collaboration with my friends raku tiles on them. Just a few pieces. It has been fun but is a bit scary. I have to take the opinion that it is for fun and be prepared not to sell any but to enjoy the process. Pictures to come....


Friday, August 20, 2010

A fun week...

It has been a fun week. Not that I don't usually try to have fun but with the cooler weather it is easier for me to be in a cheerful mood.

Fun things I did this week and in no special order.
  • Had lunch at my mom's and dads.
  • Went to a water park with my dear friend, her daughter and my daughter and just played and laughed.
  • Cooking class on Asian food. Yum!
  • Craft night with the girls where I got inspired. Was given advice and support with  the designs for my new art quilts. My dear friend is encouraging me and we are collaborating to create them. She designed raku tiles and I am incorporating them into my art quilts. Quite a venture.
  • Went to Port Dover fabric shopping. Beautiful drive and time spent with a good friend and my lovely daughter.
  • Was given some beautiful gerbra flowers by my youngest son.

And tomorrow I get to play with my sewing and go to a B-que.
Sunday is church followed by going to see my DD at work interpreting history at a local Fort based around the time period of 1812.

Can't wait to get started creating ....

My thought for today.....some times you just have to forget the chores and have some fun.

Monday, August 16, 2010

What Happened... Not a Storm....

No a hurricane did not hit our small town.
Frustration did. Not being able to find what I was looking for in the room of "Gloom and Dispare"
So I decide it was time to find out what books and magazines I had. File all the papers I have saved and put them in the kids file boxes.
We wanted to have a list of the books we own and I had purchased a hand held scanner for cataloguing our church library books.
This is a great gadget. It scans the barcode and then it searches Library data bases to find all the information.  
So I researched where we could make a library listing.
I came up and decided to use
It allows you to add your books to a data base. From there you can print out lists of your collection. You can  chat with other people who own the same books as you do. I don't plan on doing this. But what I want to do is be able to print out a list so I do not buy doubles.You can print off a list of what a author you are following to take shopping. Imagine going to a big quilt show and not remembering what you own or what you want. You can mark books that you would like to own.
The first 200 books are free and then you need to pay $10 for a year or $25 for a life time memberships. We had to up grade to a membership after I entered some of our fiction so we could take lists to the used bookstore on our vacation. Now most of my quilting books are entered.
I hope to have this project done in a few days.

On the quilting side. I did a bit of quilting at the cottage. I got around 12 "9" blocks to give to a member of my monthly quilt group for a hospice she volunteers at. I am trying to give to others as I know how much it meant to my dear friend who sadly received one when she was in a local hospice.
I also finished my "Paul's Turtle Party" this weekend and almost have my great nieces quillow.
I am trying to move out the items that I have been working on for years.

My thought for a day: Organising your stuff is an ongoing process just like your life. I need to learn to accept that the changes are just God's way of getting our attention and helping us reorganize.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Whats up ?

Life has been busy. Sew what else is new.

Work has been busier ... good for my boss not so nice for me.

My kids have been sick and even though they are adults they have needed me.

It has been hot Hot Hotter here in the Niagara region. The strawberries have come and gone and raspberries and cherries are here.

I have been sewing on my Turtle party, dear Jane and Keena's Quillow. Progress is made but nothing done.

I did make my blocks for Anyway Quilter's my monthly sewing bee group. We are making them for a hospice that one of our memebers volenteers for. I love this group. Madame Samm our fearless leader is such a breath of fresh air and is becoming a valued friend. I am so glad that she came up with this idea. We meet at a historical train station in a town nearby for a Friday evening and all day Saturday. Sadly I can only go on Friday night this month because I am off on a Mission trip with kids from our church. There will be 100 kids and leaders in Washington DC

Monday, May 31, 2010

Quilting Arts....

I am an info junkie....
I have decided I do not have to do anything with that info - just enjoy it.

I was given a couple of Art Quilt  books for Christmas from one of  my Craft Night group members. (There are officially three members who meet every other Thursday as schedules permit with my daughter as affiliate member when she is home from school.) From these books I have leaped into picking up a few used copies of Quilting Arts Magazine. From there to signing up to an online subscription. Will I ever do all these things. Probably not. But what inspiration and a whole lot more reading content than some other magazines.
Quilting Arts is a beautiful magazine from Interweave Press. They also have alot of content on line and YouTube.
They also have some neat e-books you can down load for free.

Sew many techniques Sew little time.

Just for Today..... I have decided it is better to make quilting the focus of my mid life crisis than getting rid of my messy family. In the long run it will be cheaper......

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Sew my quilting has become derailed.

School play time. I have been helping with costumes for the past five plays. This year I have to make smock aprons and maybe a robe.

I have the material and have started cutting out the smocks. I picked a nice pastel gingham check in mauve, pink, and green apple.  Motivation does not seem to be coming into play. My innner sewing muse has to kick into play today.

I need to have them done soon... Sew off I go!

Monday, April 12, 2010

I talked about inspiration on Wed. and then I had such a inspiring weekend.

Thursday we went to Dundas, Ontario where we shopped in this delightul small downtown area. We had supper at the local Thai restaurant, visited the Carengie Art Gallery , shopped at the tea and chocolate shop, kitchen store, gluten free bakeshop, cheese shop and some inspiring clothing stores. The evening was spent at the Dundas Art School Annual Art Auction where local artists donate items and they have a silent auction and live auction to raise funds. Most of the art was paintings, pottery or jewelry but there was some fabric art as well.

Friday I was to go to a relaxation class with my friends at a local Cancer Support Center. I found out they have a quilting group that sounded quite interesting and will be having a show at a local gallery to display art quilts in August. I think I might have to check this group out as they make bags to support the centre and I still have some fabric to make into head pieces etc.

Friday night was spent at the James North Art Crawl in Hamilton, Ontario where every second Friday of the month the local art studio's open to the public for this crawl. It was fun, eye opening and inspiring. A friends sister has just moved her art studio from home to the Hotel Hamilton and had her grand opening on the Thursday night. It was great fun to see Julia's showing of her paintings.  I have a print from Julia that my wonderful daughter gave me for Christmas a few years ago. The painting I love is a watercolour of my friends daughter in a Muskoka Chair on our dock. Julia has moved to acylics and the friends I was with loved her new creations. I am a detail person in my pictures so things that are more abstract are not as appealing to me. Or perhaps it is the soft water colours that I enjoy more.

Sometimes I wonder as what others pass off as art. I guess that I do not have the technical skills or training to know but some things were not my style that's for sure.

I did meet a lady who was in the Hotel Hamilton space who was a local fabric artist. I lost her card on the trek but it was great fun to talk with her. I don't know if I will go back next month but I am sure I may meet up with her again.

Saturday I had a very pleasant day helping a friend at a book sale at the Bob Rundall Centre for the Deaf. It was a Christian women and men conference for the Deaf. It was a challenge for us to keep up. Fortuately they were very graceful and patient with us. It is interesting to be the one who is impaired and can not speak their language.  K and I were the only ones who couldn't sign and we had to have translators.

Sunday afternoon was spent at a fundraiser. Talk about inspiring. The concert Hearts Gathering Children Concert was held to raise funds for Adrie's House of Hope for orphaned and abandoned children in South Aftrica. It is sponsered by The Lincoln and Niagara on the Lake Rotary clubs. They put on a concert of local children preformers from various groups and donate all the money to the orphanage. This year Jim Cuddy and Greg Keelor of Blue Rodeo fame ( )  about the concert from Wayne Petti of Cuff the Duke fame ( and volenteered to help out. They sang for the second half of the concert and if I didn't love these guys before I do now just for their generosity and stage presents alone.

But the greatest supprise was how good the local children and youth talent was. It was well worth the price of admission and more for the diversity and skill of these kids. Of course I also went to hear the choir from my DS2 school. They did a great job and sounded wonderful. It is a small school but they do wonders! ( http://www.sdch.on/ )

Now is is Monday and to the real world.......

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


What inspires you?

Inspiration for me comes in many forms. I have been thinking a lot about being more positive in my outlook and living more in the moment. Not selfish just enjoying living in the today moment.

What inspires me?
1. Laughter - with good friends, clean humour, funny movie, watching my husband laugh especially at brit coms, laughing with my kids who have developed the same twisted humour as me!
2. The outdoors especially when I take time to smell the roses and go for a walk. Especially with Di who makes me laugh while we discuss the twists and turns of life.
3. My family. All have overcome obstacles and are an inspiration to me. They show me so much compassion and teach me so many life lessons.
4. Thursday night craft girls. Although we are now only 3 sometimes four when my DD is home we have a great time even when we don't get much done.
5. Passing on my crafty/sewing knowledge. I love to see someone pick up and enjoy creating.
6. Fabric. Mine, others; looking, touching; buying, watching someone else buy (cheaper on the budget lol)
8. Cottage - if you have ever been to mine you know why this is inspiring. It's my happy place.
9. Hugs from my loved ones. Kids give the best hugs but I am discovering that I like them from others too! I have always enjoyed them from DH.
10. Reading. Whether it is my sewing/quilting/crafting/knitting/murder mysteries/ Christian fiction/ my bible/cereal boxes etc. It calms me and centers me. I am an information junkie!!! and I love it.
11. Friends/ girl friends/ guy friends you are the best!
12. My best friend DH no matter what you are there - maybe not knowing what to do but you are there....
and did I say fabric.......

Whats up in Quilt land?
Started a Stack and Wack with my mom for my B and SIL. Had the material for 5 years and just started the quilt. Mom made 1/2 the blocks and I made 1/2. We need a day to sew it into a top. Then I think I will see if we can get it basted so both our backs do not kill us. Here is a picture of one or two of the blocks.
This is a fun quilt to do because all the blocks are different and look like a kaleidoscope. It is done by layering the fabric in exact repeats together and then cutting the fabric. In this case it was 8 repeats and then cut in cuts across the fabric then into squares then triangles so that you have 8 triangles of exactly the same.
See the stack and whack book on the shelfari for more details of where you can buy this book.

I am also making a quillow for my great niece but need to take pictures of it.
That's it for now.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

avoidance..."the year of getting the guilt out of my quilt room"

I have avoided blogging because I haven't been taking pictures to add to my blog.

But I have been sewing instead. And catching up at work.

So what have I been sewing?

Mending DS1 leather coat.

Block of the month from 2 years ago blocks finished

Turtle Party blocks - Last set almost done 15 to go. Then I can put it all together. This is a big quilt - over sized queen and the blocks are 6" squares finished.

Decided to forget finishing block of the month that I hated the fabric and the teacher from years ago. I will put the four blocks I have finished into a lap quilt for local home and put the fabric into the 2 1/2" scrap heap.

I have one more block to finish in another block of the month from 3 years ago.

I haven't decided what to do with them but I want to deal with these block of the months so I can move on.
This is "the year of the creative" and now I am adding "the year of the getting the guilt out of my quilt room"

Off to work to get the necessary done so we can go play in the sun for a week!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Momentary Glitch..... Personal Technical Difficulties

All my good intentions to post regularly went out the window.

First we had my hubby's 50th suprise birthday bash. It went well and he had a lot of fun!

Next came our trip to Margarita Island. Good friends, Good times, so so resort experience. It was interesting to visit but I do not have to go back....

Home again. Thought I would be rejuvinated but ended up with a bug and a very upset system....

But I am finally feeling well and back into the swing of things.

After a rough 2009, my good inspritation buddies and I intend to make this the year of Creative Inspiration.

So while I was away I snapped a few pictures for my inspiration book.
I don't intend to make a medallion quilt but this was very inspiring.

Mosaic tiles from the main buffet dinningroom.

These were some wall hangings in the hotel. These were commerially made and I am sure not on the island. You couldn't ask because not many of the staff spoke enough English to communicate with us and out Spanish was almost non existant.

Now I am eager to begin anew. Isn't great that we can have a new start everyday.
Tonight I am off to start a webdesign class at a local Highschool. This is part of my learn something you have always wanted to do list. I don't think I will have need for a website but it can never hurt to have the information and I am going with a friend.
Need to be off to work. Supper is made and life is good.
By the way this is the day my Beloved Hubby and I got engaged 25 years ago. We like to tell people that we got engaged on the most romantic day of the year! Groundhog Day!  Still love you honey - even more than I did then! How about a muppet movie tonight when I get home!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Computers: Joy or Curse?

My computer crashed on Jan 1. Happy New Year. I was very glad that I had backed up my info just before Chrirstmas but I did lose all my email and address book. I also lost hours....

 -Hours I lost trying to reset my computer.
- Hours reloading programs.
- Hours reloading data.
 -Hours fiddling with programs and having to go to the online help.
- Hours sending the computer to the computer store to help restore what I could not get working and it taking 6 days.
 -And it is still going to take me hours to re do what I thought was not important to back up.

Now I have learned. Back up everything you can and take it to the computer store right away.

Think of the hours I could have spent sewing?

Oh well ... instead of surfing blogs I spent the time getting Dear Jane block kits ready for our trip to Florida in Feb. I figure I will get some done in the 40 hours spent in a vehicle.

Never will I travel during Presidents Week to the US. The flights from Toronto to Orlando go up, up, up.
Still the drive will be an experience.

Tonight I hope to take some pictures of my Dear Jane blocks done so that I can show a few of my favorite ones and keep a visual record of what I have done. I will share my favorite ones.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

It's fun to work on something that you would not really do....

It is fun to work on something that you would not really do...

My DD wanted to get a laptop skin for her computer to protect it while in her backpack on the way back and to campus.  She priced them out at $40. So she knew Mom would know how to make one for a better price.

So  off to the sewing room we went. Her dream and my knowledge.

We or should I say she picked out some fabrics from her private stash. We do not have the same colour palate taste and it does take some wisdom to not make comments. I do not what to squash her dreams and choices. It is a joy to have your only daughter to be interested in what your passion is!

We cut out a piece of the material you use to make fabric bowls and was fusible on both sides. We fused her fabric choices on both sides. She wanted different fabrics on different sides of the envelope like piece we were making.
I then did some quilting using a serpintine stitch from my machine every inch across the surface.

Then we satin stitched the envelope sides and flap.

Here is some pictures of the final project.

We used velcro to close it and it was ready to go to school!

One happy DD. And it didn't cost her anything. (Well she did realize that it did cost mom something.)

Not a quilt but a fun project non the less.


Monday, January 4, 2010

New Year - New Goals!

2010 is a new year. This is the obvious but it is . It is a great time to have an new outlook. This year is going to be a different year. I am searching for the happy. Sewing makes me happy. Saturday I was happy. I got to sew for 4 whole hours! (I lost interest in sewing last year. Too emotionally tired.)

In my four hours I 

1. Made quilt sandwiches to practice machine quilting. This is something I have always wanted to learn. It is going to take some practice. I do not have an extension table so it was kind of hard to contro. So a new goal is to save for one. Meanwhile I can play.

2. I made one prenatal quilt. Yeah!

3. And I got to work on my "Turtle Party" quilt. It is a pattern by Elise Wilson from Elise BackPorch. I am making for a very dear friend.

The material was picked out especially for him by his wife. She was very ill at the time and passed away in March of 09. It was to hard to work on it this past year. I miss her greatly but now I want to finish it for her and for him. I have all the turtles done and am now sewing the outside blocks. They are all done with 2 inch finished 1/2 square triangles in a 6 inch block.

I found this pattern by watching Elise Wilson on QNN tv and QTV online.

Don't you just love watching all the quilt shows on line? I used to subscribe to QNN but I need to cut back on expenses for awhile and I just wasn't watching it as much because I find I am not home as much.

So blog world it is my goal to write a few times a week about what I am doing sewing wise and what is inspiring me.