Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Can it be the last day of June?

I can't believe half the year is over already! WOW!

Well...I got six more hexi flowers done.  The centres are slightly different, a shade darker, but close enough. Another difference?  I've used a bit of all of the vintage fabrics I have, and these all came from my stash of reproduction fabrics. These six bring the count up to a total of 56.


The rest of the day?  Well, I've procrastinated as long as I can, and I simply MUST catch up on course work for the two classes I'm taking online this summer.  UGH!  Online course are not for me; there are too many distractions. Laundry, dishes, errands...the list is endless!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

New Summer Cocktail??


I stumbled upon Amy's blog: A Quilting Sheep and discovered her recipe for Lavender Pressing Spray! I nearly always press with a spray bottle of water in hand, and had enjoyed Mary Ellen's Best Press spray, but it's impossible to find locally, and very spendy when I do see it from time to time at quilt shows.

The recipe calls for distilled water, liquid starch, vodka, and essential oil for fragrance. I'm thinking 8 drops was too much!  Whew!  But lavender is supposed to be good for stress relief and a zillion other things.  If you are interested in aromatherapy, here's a link about lavender.

Amy also included a link to Karen's tutorial to make a pretty fabric spray bottle cover. (I love this blog.)

Monday, June 28, 2010

Flowers? For ME???


Absolutely!  And just why did I buy myself flowers today?  Well...part of my Simple Abundance Project is to trim down everything in my life - even me!  And to that end, I've lost 5 pounds. 




C-4 Sister's Choice

I made another block for Sylvia's Bridal Sampler yesterday. This is number 68 of 140. 


I found this wooden tray at the thrift store, and gave it a coat of "Bahama Sea" blue paint.  Strangely enough, this plastic cutlery tray fit inside if perfectly!  This will work nicely to organize the strips for my Log Cabin quilt blocks. 



Last week, Itty Bitty and I were in North London, so I slipped up to Cotton-By-Post to see if they had a fabric to match the green centres of the GFG's I've been working on. They did!  Just thought I'd share that they are celebrating Canada Day this coming Friday and Saturday with sales, and taking Canadian Tire money at par!



Now, I don't think I'll be getting back there for the sale - - but if you want to maximize your savings, Canadian Tire is offering a great deal on June 29 & 30. If you spend $40 and pay using cash, debit or your Canadian Tire Mastercard you will get an extra $10 in Canadian Tire ‘Money’ rewards. This 2 day deal excludes giftcards, gas bar purchases and auto services. You do need a coupon to get the extra $10 and they can be found in the June 25- July 1 flyer on the front page.  It's certainly not hard to spend $40 at Canadian Tire! Hmmmm...I need paint.....

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Cheerieooo-"OH CANADA!" Goose

Itty Bitty and Gibby came into my room this morning at 7:20 a.m. 

IB: What do you want to do this morning?
ME: I want to go to the park and feed the geese Cheerios. 
IB: Ah. (I love how he never looks at me like I've just said the most outrageous thing in the world.  He so accepting!) Well, get dressed.


As I've been tidying my way through cupboards, I pulled out many boxes of cereal, opened - but not likely to ever be eaten, and instead of throwing them out, I thought a trip to the park to see the Canada geese would be a nice outing.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q #1: Do geese like people?


A: No, but they like Cheerios, and will therefore tolerate people.



Q #2: Will geese eat from your hand?

A: Yes, and if permitted, will eat your hand.  They swarm like sharks at a feeding frenzy.  This morning, I had my pinky halfway down a gander's throat, but managed to get away without loss of limb.



Q #3: What do geese sound like?

A: Generally, they honk.  If they feel like they've been shorted on their share of Cheerios, they stick out their little pink tongues and hiss (like THAT kind of behaviour will be rewarded! but might be intimidating to shorter people)  When a flock see you have a bag of Cheerios with you, the sound of their collective little goosey feet flapping on the pavement as they come running sounds like a heard of elephants.




It is a lovely morning, and we enjoyed strolling through the park, and looking at the birds, turtles, fish, and FROGS!




Saturday, June 26, 2010

A Rediscovery

While I was tidying up, and stripping down my stash, I rediscovered a project I had started in September of 2007: Sylvia's Bridal Sampler.  Of the 140 completely different 6" blocks, I had completed 65.  Until today.  Here are #66 & #67.



C-2 Wedding Ring


C-3 Album

And remember this thing?  I brought home this wooden box a couple of weeks ago.  I've since painted it black, sanded off some "wear" marks, and labelled it: Scraps.  Until now, I've tossed scraps into a plastic bag, but now I have this nice tidy box to put them in!



Friday, June 25, 2010

I've been a workin' girl this morning!

BEFORE

The treads on our front steps have needed to be replaced for a little while.  In fact, I've had it all planned on how I was going to do it for ...um...a couple of years now.

I was starting to wonder if the mail carrier was going to start refusing to walk up our steps to deliver!





AFTER

Itty Bitty and I trimmed the shrubs back some, ripped off the old tread board, and screwed new lumber down.  It needs to be painted to match the rest of the porch, and I do have paint left over from last year's paint job of the decking boards, but it will have to wait for a cooler time.  We were smart and had the boards cut to length, and ripped to the necessary width at the lumber yard, so we only had to screw pilot holes and screw them down!  All done and tidied up in around two hours!  Feels like a real accomplishment, but boy am I dirty, itchy, and sweaty!  And Itty Bitty got in the shower first!!

My Simple Abundance Project -- my plan to scale down on material items around me -- is right on track.  I continue to drop off at least one bag of STUFF every day.  Last night, I cleaned out two kitchen cabinets.  Yay!


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

What's Inspiring Me - on Wednesday!


I only got two GFG flowers done this week.  The truth is....(dum! dum! dum! dum!) I'm out of the plain green centre fabric.  I think this brings me up to 49 flowers in total.  I have some more hexi's prepped to be stitched into blossoms, but nooooo centres.  I stopped into Lens Mills on Monday, but they had NOTHING similar.  Met quilty friend Jacqui there, and she suggested Fabricland, but I have a sneaking suspicion I'm going to have to go up to The Marsh Store.


But this means I've been able to make quite a bit of headway on my Log Cabin blocks.  Three more logs on each block, and they are done!  Boy, did I ever use up a lot of scrap material!

The Simple Abundance Project continues.  I dropped off another bag of stuff from my kitchen at the thrift store this morning.  Also, I threw out all of the jams and pickles that I put up ...was it three years ago?...yesterday, which was garbage day. That opened up a shelf in the basement.  Hubby and Itty Bitty are getting in on the project too.  They contributed a bag of stuff from the man cave/music studio this morning, and last night, we dropped off an extra electronic Keyboard at a friend's house.  Feels good!


Bathroom Demo/Reno Hell 2010 continues.  Good thing I didn't hold my breath about Monday being completion day.  The only things left to do: install cove molding, install a light fixture, install mirror/medicine cabinet, some caulking, a little touch-up painting here and there.  It's all but done!  If I thought I could do the trim myself, I'd do it.  Maybe Itty Bitty and I are up to the challenge.  Feel like playing with some electricity today baby??? 



Incidently, the wall colour in the advertisement above --it's called "Rain Washed" is the colour of my bathroom paint.

The next thing I want to locate is one of these chrome rack sort of things that are shown in the two pictures below.  I don't know what to call them.  But at least I have photos, so I can walk into a place and say, "Hey, have you got anything like this?"


Next on my mind is painting our bedroom.  I've hated the wall colour since we moved in, in 2004.  It's a dull dark'ish' grey-blue.  Think storm clouds, cramps, and broken dreams.  It's THAT depressing.

It is a HUGE room - it was once 2 small bedrooms, but prior to our arrival, it was converted into one big bedroom with an enormous walk-in closet.  Our furniture is very dark wood. So I've been flipping through decorating magazines, trying to decide on some colours that are a little more uplifting, while still restful.  Here's a couple of ads - -





What colour is your bedroom?  What is your best advice on bedroom wall colour?

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Tuesday - ugh...I hate titles!


Here's what I'm reading now.  I've read Wally Lamb before - and enjoyed "She's Come Undone", but I'm not getting into this one.  I'll give it one more day, and if I can't settle into it, out it goes.


I've GOT to get a paper written today.  It's due tomorrow.  Ugh... what was I thinking ... summer school? Geezzzzzzzzzzz...

I've decided to call 'my plan' to strip my world of superfluous stuff the "Simple Abundance Project".  Today, I have a bag of books that is going to a friend who enjoys quirky reads.  Last night, I filled two big bags with personal care products and took them over to the local women's shelter.

I spent some time sewing my Log Cabin blocks last night.  I'm on the final round of logs, on 80 blocks.  These could be done soon!



And before I went to sleep last night, I played around with graph paper and pencil crayons, trying to draft out a design to make a quilt out of 15 FQs to donate to Itty Bitty's school as a fundraiser for a band trip to Florida next year. 


Monday, June 21, 2010

Quiltstory & other quilt stories + The Process

Fresh Poppy Design

Have you visited "Quiltstory" yet by sisters Heather & Megan of Fresh Poppy Design? It's new among my favourites.

"We created Quiltstory because as we searched blogland, we saw so many gorgeous quilts with amazing stories behind them.  We thought it would be fun to compile them all in one place, so that day after day we can present new quilts with their stories."



I read an interesting article in this morning's London Free Press about Barn Quilts in Wardsville, ON to celebrate their bicentennialClick here for an earlier article about it.

"The mission of the barn quilt program is to celebrate quilting as a traditional art form, appreciate the architecture of farm buildings and rural landscapes, promote art appreciation, and stimulate county economic growth while celebrating our agricultural heritage."

Looks like a nice day trip!  Wardsville is a pleasant drive west of here, right on #2 Highway (Longwoods Rd.)  I saw the quilt that the individual blocks are based on at the IPM quilt show in Shedden a couple of weeks ago.  Here's a story about that.


And I just became aware that good ole Eleanor Burns has a book dedicated to Barn Quilts:



Since embarking on Fabric Diet 2010, I've been thinking a lot about simplifying in a lot more areas of my life.  Towards that end, I'm in a mood to shed myself of STUFF.  Just today, (as I was cleaning out some of that STUFF) I found an article about this very thing in an old issue of "body+soul" (Feb 08) that says:

"The secret to abundance lies in striking a balance between not enough and way too much."

This has got me wondering what achieving that balance will feel like, what need I am filling by accumulating THINGS, and what internal spaces will be opened up, or possibly painfully emptied as my physical world opens up. It's going to be a very interesting PROCESS, and I think I'm going to enjoy the exercise/experiment.

My plan is to fill a grocery bag every day full of things that I simply don't need, want, or use, and either throw it away, give it away, or donate it to the thrift store. 

Today, I started with things in my dining room and bedroom. I filled my bag with candles and dishes, a few clothing items, a couple of phones.  It didn't take long to fill a bag, and then zip over to my nephew Greg's house to drop a pretty little dish off that I thought he would enjoy, and then skip over to the Bibles For Missions thrift store and drop a full bag into their donation box, plus a stack of plates.

This exercise is probably going to kill Hubby.  He hates to part with ANYTHING.  He'll argue that, because I do collect a lot of different things, but the truth is, he just hangs on, and on, and on, to things because he perceives they have value.  Just as an example, we were considering what to do with the art from our pre-demo/reno bathroom.  One of the pieces was rather expensive - it's a very large black & white photograph of tulips in a really nice frame -- plus two smaller b&w tulip photos that weren't expensive, but matched quite nicely...and he'll never let me forget it if I give them away

Saturday, June 19, 2010

How's Your Weekend Going?

 BIG NEWS!!!  Are you sitting down?  I ... had ... a ... shower !!!!!  For the first time in 4 1/2 weeks!!!!  EEEK!!!  Yes, I have a shower again!  The Bathroom Demo/Reno From Hell 2010 continues to inch along...not much left.  Rumour has it, that it will be complete by Monday night.  I won't hold my breath, but it's nice to dream about.

I went yard sale-ing this morning.  I'm still being very good.  I only bought one shirt to deconstruct, and that's because it was brand new from Gap (I really appreciate the body of this fabric) for 50 cents. What else did I get?  Hmmmm...oh, I bought a hammer and a electric detail sander (which I have already used!) for $5 and a cute mug that says "Real Men Love Cats" on it for a quarter.  No books, no fabric, no sewing stuff.  I was a good girl. I'm sticking to this Fabric Diet.

In keeping with the Fabric Diet, I continue to trim away at the stash, cutting another kit out, and slicing the leftovers into 1.5" strips for the Log Cabin blocks I've been working on this week.

This afternoon, I took my lawnchair out onto the back lawn under a tree, and read.  This is the crap I'm reading now:



I was a HUGE Amanda Quick fan in the early 90's, but then I had to take a serious break from her.  Every book seemed to be the exact same story, and even this one seems oddly familiar (although it takes place in late Victorian England, as a change from Regency England), but it's like a box of fudge.  You can't help but to keep nibbling at it, until it makes you sick! 

I'm on the look out for "Nomad" though - - I recently heard an interview on CBC radio with Ayaan Hirsi Ali who was recently in Toronto (here's an article) promoting her new book.  I read "Infidel" last year, and it was so damn good.  It was a fascinating interview, because the interviewer Jian Gomeshi is Muslim (though not African, and definitely not a fundamentalist -- he describes himself as Persian), and it got a little uncomfortable - - though nothing like the interview he did with Billy Bob Thornton.  If you haven't read Infidel, you should go check it out of the library now.  (Nothing like a biography full of violence, politics, religion, feminism, and extremism to help you relax!)

Back to sewing for a sec...have I mentioned how much I am enjoying sewing on my Featherweight?  I love the sound she makes. 

Friday, June 18, 2010

It's Friday Night....I'm In...I'm Sewing.....



I'm working away at a little mindless sewing - - the same Log Cabin blocks from last night....playing Scrabble on FaceBook with Hubby...listening to The World in Words podcasts.  I'm a multi-tasker.


You always think of the perfect thing to say....

I giggle myself stupid last night thinking of the perfect Parthian shot to deliver to my unwilling hosts the other night....."Call me!  I'll bring hummus!"

It's going to be harder to get across the street to visit my Hearty Partiers though. I'll have to wear rubber boots instead of my slippers. Here's a few scenes from my front porch:



This has been going on for a couple of weeks, and the will continue on for a few months - - I had an young Asian boy knocking at my door a couple of times yesterday with a bottle of dye: "Pour a capful of this down your toilet and flush twice", while groups of men with orange safety vests stood around a deep hole at the end of my sidewalk. 

To say I was getting a little grumpy about the noise, dirt, constant interruptions, etc, would be an understatement.  So Hubby took me for a ride down to Port Stanley to have lunch at Mackies on the beach.



Then we stopped at this shoestore that's down there which generally carries a very large selection of Crocs. Yes, I'll declare it loud and proud, I'm a crocophile, as is Hubby!  It was easy to get him a new pair of "Beach" style in a manly navy blue, but apparently they are no longer making my favourite Athens!  I had to settle for Cleo.  Which is okay...cuz they are brown and PINK! and don't make the "flip-flop" noise when I walk.

Then I was invited to the home of quilty friend Jacqui for QNIC (Quilting Night in Canada).  I grabbed up my Featherweight (which still hasn't been christened...how odd!) and a shoebox full of 1.5" strips and worked on some log cabin blocks inspired by a photo in the Spring 2010 issue of McCall's America Quilts Hometown Favorites.




When I got home around 10ish, there was a program on Treasure HD called "Artland" which featured a visit to the International Quilt Study Center in Lincoln, Nebraska, and a visit with quilter Diane Thomas.  I searched online for Diane, because I would have liked to get another look at her quilts, but no such luck.  I believe she belongs to the Omaha Quilter's Guild, so I checked that website, also with no luck.  Maybe someone reading this knows her work?   The Omaha Quilter's Guild is having their 2010 quilt show this weekend (starts today!)...uh...something tells me that I'm not going to make it to Nebraska.  Anyway, it was an interesting program, and I'm glad I caught it.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

I'm just a Wild Party Mamma!!!


There are a couple of young gentlemen who live in the house exactly opposite to us.  Apparently, according to our next door neighbour, they often have loud parties.  I don't notice...I go to bed with the chickens, take a sleeping pill, put in my ear plugs, and turn on the window air conditioner.  I hear nothing.

Until last night.

It was a beautiful cool night, with a nice fresh breeze blowing, so I had the windows open, and was sitting up in bed, watching a documentary, sewing hexagon flowers.

...and it just got louder and louder...and the yelling started.  And I thought...ya know?  If they turned down the music a bit, they wouldn't have to yell so loud...

So, I put on my housecoat and slippers, and scuffed across the street, and rang the door bell.

The music turned off; voices became silent.

I waited for awhile, but no one answered the door.

So, I stepped onto the lawn and called up to the window.

ME:  Hey!  No one is answering the door!
HE: Sorry, was the music too loud?
ME:  No, no, it was great!
HE: Okay, we'll quiet it down.
ME: No, no, I came to PARTY with you guys!  I live across the street, and we have a rule around here....if the neighbourhood can hear it, the neighbourhood is INVITED!
HE:  Oh, okay, well half the people are gone now, and we're just shuttin' her down, so I'll be sure to invite you next time.
ME:  AWESOME!!!  See that window directly across from you?  That's my bedroom window, so no need for a special invite, I hear EVERYTHING that goes on over here. I was so excited, look!  I came over in my nightgown and housecoat!
HE: hehe (nervous laughter)

So I went back home, got back into bed, and Hubby says: "That shut them up, didn't it?"

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

It's Wednesday!


As you can see, Gibby is being his ever helpful self.  Truth is, I've nearly got everything back in order!  The table Itty Bitty set up for me to work on thinning out my stash is now clear.  I have a box of fabric to go to a church group.  I'm presently cutting my third quilt kit.  It's looking good!


I've gotten 13 more GFG blocks done this week.

That brings me up to a total of 47 I believe!

I also picked up a quilt from the Quilter Man last night.  I can't sew the binding on until "Lucy" gets back from the shop - - she's in for a needle-ectomy, and a tune-up, and should be home next Tuesday or Wednesday.

Monday, June 14, 2010

It's coming...it's coming...

I'm still working away at thinning out my stash.  I'm seeing a dent!  Some has been sold, some has been given to a good home, and some has been cut up into 'kits' to construct quilts when the time permits.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

This video says it all....still PROCESSing


CraftyPod Video Blog #4: 7 craft supplies I am no longer allowed to buy from Diane Gilleland on Vimeo.

These are a few things that I simply am NOT allowed to buy anymore:

  1. Holiday fabric.  I don't celebrate Christmas, but for some reason can't resist Santas and Snowmen, and I keep gathering more, I guess because I think "This is the year I might DO Christmas" ...um, not likely.
  2. Wooden spools of thread.  Yes, they are dangerously adorable, but are a bitch to store, and serve no purpose.  The same goes for souvenier thimbles, and cute china and glass pieces to store pens and stuff in.  I have ENOUGH!
  3. Patterns for totebags.  I have a billion of them.  And I rarely even carry a purse! Usually I just stick my driver's license and my debit card in a pocket, and I'm good to go.
I went yard sale-ing this morning.  I was REALLY well behaved, and only "felt up" stuff that I would have bought last week. The ONLY thing I bought that came into my studio was some cheap newsprint scrapbooks - - good paper piecing paper there! - - and I DO use that.  It won't stick around longer that six months.

Friday, June 11, 2010

PROCESS-ing....


"Hurry up and take the durn photo - - I'm gettin' the heck out of here."


So far - I've taken one box of fabric over to my mom's (who's having a yard sale tomorrow...if you're local, it's on 10 Weldon Ave) so she can get rid of it, and took a tote bag full of fabric over to my sister-in-law.  (Sandra - if you don't want it, throw it out! It's not coming back here!!!)  I just had Itty Bitty put another box full in the car. 

But I'm taking a bit of a break right now now.  I still have 2 washtubs, 2 rubbermaid totes, 2 grocery bags, and 2 stacks of fabric to go through.  The decision making process is getting more difficult now, because some stuff is harder to part with now that I've thinned it out a bit.  Furthermore, I don't know how I'm going to store what I keep to increase my chances of actually USING it. 

I have made up some kits in the past - a big ziplock bag containing the pattern and all of the pre-cut pieces.  I wonder if I should cut up some fabric into useable form and make more kits (I sure have a lot of patterns that I want to try!) -- but I'm worried about the time it would take, and if that would inspire me to actually SEW, because I haven't yet.  But then, maybe I could offer the kits to other guild members to make quilts that we donate to the local chemo unit?  What to do......

I feel terrible that I've horded all of this STUFF, overburdened and a little nauseated.  Someone else could be enjoying it, and I'm sure there are many, many better ways I could have spent my money.  I feel like I've gone to a very dark guilty-quilty place!!! 


The IMPOSSIBLE has happened...

I officially have TOO MUCH STUFF and no where to put it. I have too many books - - too much fabric - - too much everything!  When I found yet another bankers box (which I was hoping was empty) and discovered it was full of fabric, I nearly had a cow.

I've got to thin this out, and go on a fabric diet.  I'm going to need to share this process -- THE PROCESS -- so expect lots of updates begging for support, reassurance, and advice. 

All of a sudden....I am craving cake.

I'm going back to bed....

...and shutting off the ringer on the phone!  I think I stayed up too late, and got up way too early!

I have a ton of work to do, but lack the energy to commit to doing it.  A nap will help. First and foremost, my sewing room needs to be tamed - after settling my cabinet into place yesterday, and filling it will treasures, it looks like a bomb went off in here! 

Second - - I have two papers due next week: one on Monday (which I should be able to write in my sleep) and another on Wednesday which is going to take some effort.

Here's what I'm reading now:



Thursday, June 10, 2010

AFTER/AFTERS


With shelves!

The stack of silver tins holds WIPs (work in progress), and on the right hand is a stack of vintage linens (mostly pillow cases) I intend to do something with.

I don't know how well you can see it, but there is a cross-stitched sampler on the left second shelf that says "Hand and Heart Shall Never Part" -- must have been a yard sale find that I forgot I had.

The two baskets on the bottom hold thrifted shirts, all deconstructed and ready to become something wonderful!


And just a reminder of what it was that inspired me:


Now I'll have to keep my eyes open for another something similar.  See...none of my actual fabric stash went into this cupboard.  I still have lots of wallpaper to cover a back and shelves!