Monday, August 31, 2009
Gibby kitty woke me up this morning in his customary way -- running and jumping on the bed like the house is on fire, standing on my shoulder and meowing a loud, repetitive, and cheerful good morning. This is the first time he's done this since his visit with the vet - - I think he's finally forgiven me.
I put Sailor Boy on the Greyhound back to his base yesterday afternoon. He's a sick and pathetic looking thing - - I didn't envy him the four hour bus ride. I advised him to get to sick parade this morning, and let me know what the doc said. Looks like flu to me. He spent the greater part of his leave home, in bed in his pjs. Haven't heard from him yet (of course!).
Though school hasn't started yet, football practice has. Itty Bitty will have several months of VERY long days ahead of him -- football season is BRUTAL! It seems to me that the coach is pretty demanding - hours of practice EVERY day. ugh...I hate that. But I love that Itty Bitty is so committed and disciplined, in EVERYTHING!
I quilted the mini Broken Dishes quilt and started sewing down the binding this afternoon. I'm pretty happy with the way it came out, and hope to post a photo finish tomorrow.
Sunday, August 30, 2009
YES! Can you believe that? She was on her way to London when t-boned by a drunk driver two weeks ago, which pushed her van into oncoming traffic, then front ended by another vehicle. She's still in the hospital, recovering from two surgeries to repair a fractured femur, and fractured elbow, not to mention fractured ribs & sternum. She was transferred to the local General hospital last week, and went by medical transport back to London to see one of the surgeons on Friday. On the trip home - WAS IN ANOTHER ACCIDENT!!!
And get this - - it gets stranger - - my ex-husband was on the same transport (he goes over to London 3x a week for dialysis) and the strap securing his wheelchair broke, causing him to land on top of Lauri. No, she wasn't hurt, but now HE has a fractured femur!!! Can you believe this?
I went to see both of them at the hospital tonight, and she liked her quilt. She particularly liked the fabrics! She looked very good, particularly considering all she'd been through. She might be able to come home later this week, but expects it to take a year to recover.
Note to self: NEVER go to London with Lauri.
Linda S. in Texas sent me a photo of her interpretation of the Seven Shirts quilt. I think it's lovely! Nice bright yellow, and red - - and she's working on a second top. Can't wait to see a photo of that - thank you Linda!
Friday, August 28, 2009
Then I pieced together all the leftover scraps and four patches to make a strip about 10" wide, adding a muslin rectangle into the mix to use for a label. I'm going to try my hand at quilting this myself on my DSM.
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Last night was declared QNIC (Quilting Night in Canada), and we had great S.E.X.!!!! (Stash Enhancement eXperience/eXpedition). Seven of us drove down to T'Burg (Tilsonburg - my back still aches when I hear that word) to visit Cynthia at Cherished Pieces.
I borrowed "Jelly Roll Quilts" from quilty friend Heather, and I'm going to create a quilt today using the Jelly Roll I brought home last night. It's Bistro by Deb Strain.
Now that I have my sewing buddy back, maybe I can get some work done around here!
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Sailor Boy is currently on a Greyhound bus on his way home for four or five days. I'm picking him up in London tonight.
With the cat gone until Thursday, I SHOULD be getting some cutting and sewing done. It might go faster without "help".
Monday, August 24, 2009
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Black & white enamelware bowl, a cross-stitched picture, a tea cup with tartan and Scottish thistles (Carol, I'll serve you tea in this one someday soon!), Ikea lamp, a small sewing basket, a McCoy bowl (matches my studio paint!) a cute plate with Scottie dog painted on it, a "Pansy" book from 1903, small table cloth (all four corners are stitched with the same scene, vintage needlebook and sewing kits...and underneath it all? Six yards of a nice neutral cotton print. This will make a nice quilt backing.
The verse on this piece of cross-stitch "The world is so full of a number of things, I'm sure we should all be as happy as kings." is from Robert Louis Stevenson.
Friday, August 21, 2009
The shirt was actually constructed with the wrong side facing out, so the images are pale grey when hanging on a hanger - - the crisp black and white images were a very cool surprise! Skulls, ravens, clocks, butterflies, cabins, flowers, snakes, cowboys...like toile of tattoo flash! Unfortunately, the tags have been cut out of this, so I don't know the maker, the size, or even if it IS 100% cotton - - it will have to pass the "burn test" before it can be incorporated into any quilting projects.
Thursday, August 20, 2009
I finished up the second step of the Bonnie Hunter Christmas Lights mytery. We put the blocks up on the design wall to see if we could reckon how the final assembly would look. Here's what we came up with; I wonder if we got it even close??
Gibson was eager to be helpful to both of us. Here, he's holding the fabric steady for Gail, while she cuts out the pieces for a baby quilt. Gail very nearly saved me the cost of neutering Gibson, he was just so enthusiastic about helping her!
Next, I worked on my Sunbonnet Sue blocks.
This is as far as I had gotten last night - - but it's much closer to completion this morning.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Monday, August 17, 2009
Okay, so it's together. That, however, doesn't mean my troubles are entirely over. The blocks are NOT lying flat in the centre, so it is going to be impossible to quilt.
Here's my plan: I'm going to wet the quilt top down, and put it in a hot dryer to see if the stretched bias edges will realign themselves. If that doesn't work - I believe it's a goner! If anyone has any other suggestions, that doesnt involve picking seams out AGAIN, then I'd be happy to hear them.
These are a particular favourite of ours. The recipe was invented by a family friend, and were her late husband's favourite as well.
2 c flour
2 c oats
2 c coconut
2 c brown sugar
1 c oil
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
handful of raisins
2-3 Tbsp of water - - add only if the ingredients don't seem to be combining together very well, because it's too dry
Drop by spoonfuls onto cookie sheets, and bake at 350 for about 10 min. They are soft, and chewy, and full of wholesome nostalgia. Makes about four dozen.
I stopped into a thrift store this afternoon, just for a peek. I found this adorable cross-stitch on linen, with a line from the poem by Sam Walter Foss. I've tossed the frame, and found the linen whip stitched to the cardboard backing. I've cut it away from the backing cardboard, and zig-zag stitched around the raw edges. I'll give it a bath, and perhaps turn this into a patchwork cushion.
by Sam Walter Foss (1858-1911)
There are hermit souls that live withdrawn
In the peace of their self-content;
There are souls, like stars, that dwell apart,
In a fellowless firmament;
There are pioneer souls that blaze their paths
Where highways never ran;
But let me live by the side of the road
And be a friend to man.
Let me live in a house by the side of the road,
Where the race of men go by-
The men who are good and the men who are bad,
As good and as bad as I.
I would not sit in the scorner’s seat,
Or hurl the cynic’s ban;-
Let me live in a house by the side of the road
And be a friend to man.
I see from my house by the side of the road,
By the side of the highway of life,
The men who press with the ardor of hope,
The men who are faint with the strife.
But I turn not away from their smiles nor their tears-
Both parts of an infinite plan;-
Let me live in my house by the side of the road
And be a friend to man.
I know there are brook-gladdened meadows ahead
And mountains of wearisome height;
That the road passes on through the long afternoon
And stretches away to the night.
But still I rejoice when the travelers rejoice,
And weep with the strangers that moan,
Nor live in my house by the side of the road
Like a man who dwells alone.
Let me live in my house by the side of the road
Where the race of men go by-
They are good, they are bad, they are weak, they are strong,
Wise, foolish- so am I.
Then why should I sit in the scorner’s seat
Or hurl the cynic’s ban?-
Let me live in my house by the side of the road
And be a friend to man.
I also got a couple of "My First Little House" books, to put away for a future grand daughter. (Much, much into the future, please children?) I was a big Laura Ingalls Wilder fan when I was a little girl.
Speaking of books, I just started a new book this afternoon: "Winding Ways" by Jennifer Chiaverini. If it wasn't so darned hot and humid outside, I'd be on the front porch reading right now.
Still working away at my Jelly Roll Diamonds. Four more seams!
Sunday, August 16, 2009
Itty Bitty's band is playing Thursday night at the Iron Horse. I think they are "head-lining" so they will be playing closer to the 9pm to 10pm range, I would imagine. I think (now I try to pay attention, but a lot of all this rock band stuff goes straight over my head) he said they are doing three cover tunes, and three or four originals in their set. But I could have that all wrong. He might have been telling me something completely unrelated!!!
Band practice was in our attic this afternoon - - so Hubby and I took a walk over a few blocks to visit friends, and enjoyed blender cocktails in the shade. Good times! I'm liking this vacation thing!
Saturday, August 15, 2009
He seemed to be giving her some job to do, and she answered 'okay' and turned to go back behind the cash, and he YELLED: "JUST A MINUTE! DON'T TURN YOUR BACK ON ME WHEN I'M STILL TALKING!" My head spun around to look at the offensive little pup, and when he realized he had certainly gotten my attention, he headed up an aisle.
This was at least the third time I'd witnessed this behaviour while shopping there. I snapped.
ME: What the?
CASHIER: Oh, it's just been a bad day. (pleasantly)
ME: Is he your boss?
CASHIER: No. Would you like a bag? (still pleasant)
ME: No, but I would like to smack that kid in the mouth.
Once I had checked out, I went back up the aisles in search of "Tim". I found him kneeling on the floor, fixing stock.
ME: Excuse me.
TIM: Can I help you?
ME: I live in the neighbourhood, and shop here about once a week. On three different occasions I've overheard you yelling at other staff, and swearing. It is very unprofessional behaviour, and not very gentlemanly of you to be yelling at that little blonde girl at the cash.
TIM: (voice shakey - bullies hate confrontation, particularly misogynists who abuse women) I wasn't yelling at her, I was yelling at...
ME: (interupting)Well, then you can easily see how your behaviour can be misunderstood by others. You need to consider how customers might interpret things, because by all appearances, you seemed to be yelling at that girl.
TIM: I'm sorry.
ME: Tim, you need to take a look at your temper. Losing control of your temper at work can be very serious, and you'll find yourself going from job to job to job for the rest of your life unless you figure out how to control your temper. I suggest you put your mind to it immediately.
I'm sure he rolled his eyeballs as soon as I left, but I couldn't not stand up for the little girl, despite his assurances that he wasn't yelling at her.
OMG!!! This is a freaking nightmare.
I was feeling so confident this morning! It looked so pretty up on the wall! I just wanted to dive in and zoom-zoom-zoom! There should have been a Surgeon General's warning on the front of this pattern. Holy moly!
I have twelve more seams to sew, plus the setting triangles. How am I going to get this done?? It is NOT going back in the box.
I repaired all the diamonds. There may be a couple of seams that I don't want anyone to look to closely at, but they are all a far sight better. I started adding the sashing strips this morning.
With any luck, I think I can finish this flimsy today. The only tricky part is to try to make the kitten understand that he shouldn't play with the bias edges.
Friday, August 14, 2009
So now I've pulled out another UFO: Jelly Roll Diamonds using Prairie Paisley fabrics. I think it's been stashed away for a year, or maybe two. When I realized what a mess I was making of the diamonds - - not one matches up correctly! - - I put it away. So now, it's out, and I'll have to unsew them all. The jelly roll came was purchased on a Shop Hop, and I had to travel far and wide to find matching yardage to finish the top. It deserves to be completed.
I also pieced together the back of my Shirt Stripes Boxes quilt last night, and I'll have to take a photo later, because it turned out very interesting! It took a total of 19 shirts to piece both the back and front, though many of them were children's and ladies' sized shirts. If I had been able to find more men's shirts, it would have taken fewer.
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Here's an interesting link for you: Quilts, Quilters, Quilting, and Patchwork in Adult Fiction.
I was interested to read in the Super Shopper Weekly News that the local public library is now offering audiobooks online that can be downloaded for free. I'm very excited about this! I tried to look into this, but I didn't see a link anywhere on the library website, so I'll have to go in and check it out.
I'd like to work on some UFO's while I'm on my short vacation. I've promised myself not to start ANY new projects, and to use what I have in my stash already - -NO BUYING! How do you suppose I'll do?
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Monday, August 10, 2009
Much of our lives is spent trying to figure out what life is all about, to know what to do, to know what is right. That’s why we seek wisdom, and have sought wisdom since antiquity. We seem to instinctively understand that wisdom is more than just the gathering together of information; not about how much one knows, but more like the clarity of mind that allows one to utilize information with sense and insight. It’s an array of qualities that allow us to exist, and work within the world.
Wisdom is a growing thing. It requires attention and nurturing, but mostly it requires time, which is why we often turn to those who are older, and thereby wiser, than we are. Robert Louis Stevenson said “To hold the same views at forty as we held at twenty is to have been stupefied for a score of years.” Fortunately, for the youngsters in this audience, as a woman of a certain age—I can’t tell you exactly how old I am; it’s a “F” word—I’m prepared to impart the wisdom I’ve accumulated over my many years.
1. Treat service staff in restaurants with derision. After all, you've had to suffer through the contempt of a couple of crackpots while you waited tables part-time to get through school. Be as demeaning, demanding and discourteous as possible. It's character building, and they will consider it a favour. And besides, it's just an urban legend that wait staff do disgusting things to your food as payback for ignorant customers. If you tip--and I’m not recommending you do—a couple of quarters is plenty. Just toss them on your empty nacho platter. Sneering as you leave is a nice touch.
2. When it comes to attending children's birthday parties, deciding on a present can be tricky. Children love to get socks and corduroy pants for their birthdays. However, parents prefer it you gift their kids with super-sized kits of Play-Doh, toy vehicles with working sirens, or giant all-day lollipops. You simply can't please all of the people all of the time. Be sure to position yourself near the cake when the time for "Happy Birthday" comes along so you can blow out Little Johnnie or Suzie's candles for them - help the little tyke out.
3. People will think you are a real go-getter if you follow these simple rules of war. Never take “no” for an answer – it’s merely the first answer. Whining will erode the hardest rock. While you’re at it, always be right. And furthermore, if there is going to be a fight, make sure you are the one to start it. Appropriate gestures, for example: wagging your finger in someone’s face, or swearing is always effective in having your viewpoint more clearly understood and generally accepted.
4. At street corners cross only when the light is green, yellow, or red. This rule applies to when you are bicycling as well. In case a vehicle narrowly avoids striking you, make obscene gestures, and swear at the driver. If you are feeling particularly peppy, pound your fist on the hoods of octogenarians, or give them a kick in the quarter panel.
5. If it feels good, I say just do it! Scratch whatever itches. Anything nasal: picking, sniffling, sneezing, whistling, go for it. We’re all human, and understand that gas can be uncomfortable. Clean, and/or file your nails at the dining table. Announce when you are going to the bathroom, and report back on how you made out upon your return. Adjust your underwear if it’s creeping. Expectorate freely. Public displays of affection are a welcome diversion in the humdrum lives of others, so go ahead and grope.
6.When a couple announces their engagement to you, ask the bride-to-be if the diamond is real. Ask the groom, “is she is pregnant, or what?” Never RSVP the wedding invitation, and bring a date, plus another couple so that you’ll have someone to hang out with. Besides, it’s an open bar; the more the merrier! Wear jeans to the wedding, and try to get a seat on the aisle so you can goose the bride. Remember that your “best wishes” are considered gift enough.
7. “Forgive and forget” is for losers. Hold a grudge like nobody’s business. If you do accidentally forget – make something up. But as for another old cliché: “Think nothing of it”, you can take that one to heart. Gratitude is embarrassing for everyone, so “don’t mention it”. And lastly “revenge is sweet” so be sure to get some.
8. Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow. If you procrastinate efficiently, someone else will surely take care of it. Do not do anything until you have been asked at least twice. You will want to be certain the person who makes the request was absolutely certain. Ignore deadlines, and certainly don’t ask for an extension, because there is always a risk the answer will be ‘no’. It’s better to beg forgiveness than ask permission.
9. Don’t know what to wear to a funeral? Just pull something out of the laundry basket and if it passes the sniff test – it’s a go. The leather mini-skirt and see though blouse you wore to the club last night are black, and therefore appropriate for funeral going. Dive into your storehouse of clever jests for tense and serious occasions and whisper jokes during the service. Never, ever stand for the hymns, nor bow your head for prayers , because you don’t go for that religious mumbo-jumbo, and doing so would be against your beliefs. Take photos of the corpse. Open the casket for one last peek.
10. When driving: red lights are optional after midnight, and stop signs are merely suggestions at any time of the day. You know what they say: “no cops, no stops”. Leave your right signal light on at all times. Do not slow down for puddles, and do steer directly into them if there’s a pedestrian anywhere near – you may speed up if there is a risk of missing said pedestrian. Since we are forced to share the road with elderly drivers, help keep their reflexes sharp through intimidation by tailgating them. Now, say you have to make a left hand turn in about 12 kilometres or so. It only makes sense to drive in the passing lane for the sake of convenience. And by all means, have “one for the road”.
I realize this is a lot of information to take in, and I’ll stop at ten, because my advice will largely be ignored anyway. And this doesn’t trouble me one bit, because I’ve been told that if one keeps one’s mind sufficiently open, someone is sure to come along and fill it up with a load of rubbish. You’ll learn from your mistakes, just as I did. But, as Mark Twain wrote, “We should be careful to get out of an experience only the wisdom that is in it - and stop there; lest we be like the cat that sits down on a hot stove-lid. She will never sit down on a hot stove-lid again - and that is well; but also she will never sit down on a cold one anymore."
Friday, August 7, 2009
I spent an hour in the Goodwill Bookstore in London yesterday, and brought home a stack of books, including the selections above. Three of them are collected short stories of L.M.Montgomery ("previously unpublished"?) - - I've developed a Montgomery-mania, having read Vol 1. of her journals, and well into Vol. 2. (I blame YOU, Wendy!)
I more or less have the day to myself today. Hubby is working a double shift, and though I have one more speech to write, I don't feel a real sense of urgency about it. I coloured my hair this morning (the grey roots were becoming a serious problem!), did a little housework, and as soon as Itty Bitty gets out of the shower, I'm going to toss in a load of laundry and head out to look for a couple of more shirts for my Shirt Stripes Boxes.
Thursday, August 6, 2009
The kitten has been "helping me". Together we have gotten through 12 shirts, making a total of 21 nine inch blocks, 39 six inch blocks, and 106 three inch blocks. I went out thrifting after school this afternoon and got three more shirts--I hope that will finish it off. I'm saving the backs to piece together for the back. If I was cutting into those as well, I'm sure I'd have the blocks done.
Anita has been hard at work on her Shirt-Stripe Boxes too, as has Amy. Anyone else taking up the challenge?
Our days together are growing fewer; in just one week we will all be going our separate ways. I’m truly grateful for this experience and for the pleasure of learning with all of you. And so it is with regret that I stand here to make my speech of farewell.
Over the last five weeks, I think each of us has recognized areas in which we have made real improvement through observing and enjoying the speeches of others, plus encouragement, feedback, and constructive criticism.
However, there are times in life when criticism is something you can-- and should --overlook. I’d like to explain what I mean with this very old story.
A man who owned a fish market painted a new sign for his store that said “Fresh Fish for Sale Here”. He thought it looked very professional, and couldn’t have been more pleased, so he proudly placed it in the window.
Soon a customer came in and said, “Hey, nice sign! But was it really necessary to put the word “FRESH” in it? It’s not like you’re going to sell fish that isn’t fresh, right?” So, the fishmonger took down the sign, painted over the word “FRESH” and put the sign back up in the window.
It wasn’t long before another customer stopped in, and remarked “New sign, eh? Nice! But uh… why would you put the word “HERE” on the sign? It’s not like you’re selling fish anywhere else, are you?” So, the fishmonger took down the sign, painted over the word “HERE” and put the sign back up in the window.
A little while later a third customer came in, and complimented the shop keeper on his new sign, and then wondered aloud “What’s the point of having the words “FOR SALE” on the sign? You wouldn’t have fish here unless it was for sale, right?” So, the fishmonger took down the sign, painted over the word “FOR SALE” and put the sign back up in the window.
Wouldn’t you know? Another customer came through the door and says to the shopkeeper, “What’s the deal with the sign? “FISH?” I’ve been buying fish here for 20 years! “FISH”? Like someone might mistake this for a shoe store? “FISH”? For crying out loud - - you can smell this shop a block away!”
A wise man once said: “criticism is something we can avoid easily by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing.” So, my parting words of advice to you - - or, if you will, “my Parthian Shot” - - is, if in life you paint a really great sign…a sign that you’re really proud of, put that sign up in your window and prepare to hear from the critics. But if you’re happy with your sign, don’t change it for anything.